Boeing enters race to colonize Mars
Around a week after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced his plans to get humans to Mars, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg announced Boeing's plans to join in the race. Muilenburg said that he was "convinced [that] the first person to set foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket".
Boeing and space travel
Boeing Co. is no stranger to space travel, having built the first stage of Saturn V rocket which propelled US astronauts to the moon. Even today, the Saturn V rocket remains the most powerful rocket-engine ever developed.
Boeing's plans to get people to Mars
Quite akin to SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System, the plans of which Elon Musk unveiled at the end of September, Boeing's plan involves what it calls the Space Launch System - a heavy-lift rocket project. The plan also involves at least $60 billion worth of NASA-funded research and development. Boeing estimates that a human-crewed Mars mission, at the earliest, would be in the late 2030s.
Boeing and SpaceX are close competitors
Boeing and SpaceX are the first commercial companies which were selected by NASA to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.
The competition between Boeing and SpaceX
When it comes to commercial spaceflight contracts from NASA, Boeing and SpaceX are well acquainted competitors. Provided that Muilenburg's commitment to Mars is serious, it is quite possible that the competition arising between the two companies will provide a serious push to the quest to colonize Mars, making the quest a reality rather than a science fiction dream.