Elon Musk challenges Boeing to beat SpaceX to Mars


O n On Thursday, SpaceX founder Elon Musk threw the glove to take humans to Mars. Well, he did it on Twitter, but in 2017, that is the battlefield on which we must all fight nobly.

Here's what happened: On Thursday morning, CNBC anchor Jim Cramer asked Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg what company he thinks a human will get to Mars first, yours or Musk's.

"We are working on that next-generation rocket right now with our NASA clients called 'Space Launch System'," said Muilenburg. "This is a 36-story tall rocket, we're in the final badembly right now, near New Orleans, and we're going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we're going to do a slingshot mission around the moon."

Then, Muilenburg came out and said it.

"Eventually we will go to Mars and I firmly believe that the first person to set foot on Mars will arrive there on a Boeing rocket," said Muilenburg.

When Fortune re-reported this news and tweeted it, Musk responded quickly, and he did not contain himself.

Screenshot via Twitter

Clearly, SpaceX has had its eyes on Mars for a long time. Musk has even gone so far as to say that he wants to "make humans an interplanetary species" by building a permanent settlement on the red planet. In September, SpaceX announced aptly named Big Fucking Rocket (BFR), that the company plans to use a ferry to send humans to Mars. According to Musk, the first manned missions to the red planet on board the BFR will begin in 2024.

This is not the first time that Muilenburg has challenged SpaceX. At a conference in Chicago last year, Muilenberg said: "I am convinced that the first person to set foot on Mars will arrive there on a Boeing rocket."

Perhaps the winner of this last duel of twitter Muilenberg vs. Musk was another person Bobak Ferdowsi, a systems engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), could have had the last word on the whole situation:

Ferdowsi talks of course about NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which almost certainly beat Boeing and SpaceX to the red planet. While it will not be a crewed mission, it is still a great comeback, and Ferdowsi should be proud.

Who will have a human being on Mars first? Only time will tell. For now, we can live through those who lead the accusation while discussing on Twitter about it.

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