Who will make it to Mars first? [arstechnica.com]
It was about a year ago that Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg first began saying his company would beat SpaceX to Mars. "I'm convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket," he said during a Boeing-sponsored tech summit in Chicago in October 2016.
On Thursday, Muilenburg repeated [fortune.com] that claim on CNBC. Moreover, he added this tidbit about the Space Launch System rocket—for which Boeing is the prime contractor of the core stage—"We're going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we're going to do a slingshot mission around the Moon."
Unlike last year, Muilenburg drew a response from SpaceX this time. The company's founder, Elon Musk, offered a pithy response on Twitter [twitter.com]: "Do it."
The truth is that Boeing's rocket isn't going anywhere particularly fast. Although Muilenburg says it will launch in 2019, NASA has all but admitted [arstechnica.com] that will not happen. The rocket's maiden launch has already slipped from late 2017 into "no earlier than" December 2019. However, NASA officials have said a 2019 launch is a "best case" scenario, and a slip to June 2020 is more likely.
Previously: Maiden Flight of the Space Launch System Delayed to 2019 [soylentnews.org]
Elon Musk Publishes Mars Colonization Plan [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX Appears to Have Pulled the Plug on its Red Dragon Plans [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX Putting Red Dragon on the Back Burner [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX: Making Human Life Multiplanetary [soylentnews.org]
Related: VP of Engineering at United Launch Alliance Resigns over Comments About the Space Launch Industry [soylentnews.org]
ULA Exec: SpaceX could be Grounded for 9-12 Months [soylentnews.org]
Commercial Space Companies Want More Money From NASA [soylentnews.org]
Bigelow and ULA to Put Inflatable Module in Orbit Around the Moon by 2022 [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX Unlocks "Steamroller" Achievement as Company Eyes 19 Launches in 2017 [soylentnews.org]
Trump Space Adviser: Mars "Too Ambitious" and SLS is a Strategic National Asset [soylentnews.org]
SpaceX's Reusable Rockets Could End EU's Arianespace, and Other News [soylentnews.org]