Will SpaceX make it to Mars before NASA?

Pundits predict that Elon Musk’s space exploration company, SpaceX, has a much better shot at reaching Mars before NASA – here’s why.

NASA has been making some pretty amazing strides towards putting a human being on Mars. According to a report from Mother Nature Network, however, they may not be the only organization eyeing the Red Planet. A recent analysis in the October issue of Popular Mechanics suggests that Elon Musk’s SpaceX company could beat NASA to the punch.

Raphael Esparza, of Doc’s Sports Service predicted that Musk’s private space exploration firm SpaceX has both the desire and the capital to make a Mars mission happen. He said the company has 5:1 odds over NASA to reach the planet first.

NASA made huge headlines this fall by announcing both the discovery of evidence of flowing water on Mars and the release of their film, “The Martian.” Despite their continued push towards a manned Mars mission sometime in the 2030s, Esparza only gave the agency 80:1 odds at beating the competition.

One of the biggest threats to NASA, a federally funded organization, is the repeated slashing of their budget. NASA wasn’t unlike other government-run space agencies, with the European Space Agency facing 300:1 odds and Russia facing 60:1 odds of reaching Mars first.

He believes that Musk and SpaceX could put humans on the surface of Mars in the next 12 to 16 years. “With most ideas, the execution is really the hard part, and in order to make that happen you need to have lots of talented people working together towards a common goal to achieve that. And that’s what we want to put together at SpaceX,” Musk said.

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