Will SpaceX send a Starship to Mars before 2028?
closes 2028

Doesn't have to contain a human, doesn't have to land on Mars, doesn't even have to successfully reach Mars. That just needs to be the target.

If they replace Starship with a similar heavy lift vehicle, that'll count too.

Get Ṁ500 play money

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ChristopherRandles avatar
Christopher Randles

If the target was Mars orbit rather than landing on Mars, does that count even if it fails to get into Mars orbit?

Also, if it blows up on pad before launch, does that mean it is not sent?

2 replies
Mqrius avatar
Mqriuspredicts NO

@ChristopherRandles Sounds to me like it would. Maybe as long as it gets close to Mars, you could say they have sent something to Mars?

JacksonWagner avatar
Jackson Wagnerpredicts YES

@ChristopherRandles IMO if the target is actually to have a Starship orbiting the planet Mars (although I think that might be difficult, as Starship might not have enough fuel to slow down and enter orbit without the use of aerobraking), that should resolve as YES, even if it explodes a few minutes after launch and never even makes it to space.

If, however, the mission is just yeeting a starship out into deep space in a random direction as a test launch, and then Elon claiming on twitter that it's "going to mars" because the heliocentric orbit of the launched object will roughly cross the orbit of mars around the sun (but never come anywhere close to the actual planet), as was the case for Elon's Tesla Roadster launched on the first Falcon Heavy launch... IMO that isn't going to mars and definitely shouldn't count at all.

JacksonWagner avatar
Jackson Wagnerbought Ṁ51 of YES

This market is out of whack with https://manifold.markets/MetaculusBot/will-spacex-land-anything-on-mars-b?r=SmFja3NvbldhZ25lcg

The last launch window for Mars that could arrive by 2030 would need to depart by Q4 2028 / Q1 2029, making these questions basically the same.

The market linked above would, on the bright side, include that last bit of the final launch window that peeks into Q1 2029. BUT, that other market also requires the totally-untested 8-month deep-space cruise and mars reentry & landing to be successful! So, if anything, IMO that market should have a lower probability than this one.

1 reply
Mqrius avatar
Mqriusbought Ṁ25 of NO

@JacksonWagner This one doesn't include the 2028 launch window so I think it's probably a lot lower. For the rest I agree with you.

Mqrius avatar
Mqriuspredicts NO

This is a tricky one, the only launch windows are Q4 2024 and Q4 2026, since the one after that is Q4 2028. So the question is, will SpaceX be ready and willing to send a Starship to Mars in Q4 2026? It's maybe yes, maybe no; they'll be interested in testing it out ASAP but they have a lot to get done before they could even consider it. 50% seems about right, maybe slightly high.

1 reply
Blomfilter avatar
Blomfilterbought Ṁ10 of YES

@Mqrius I think yes they will send a startship Q 2026, it may not be successful, but seeing the rate at which they are cranking out Serial Numbers at Boca Chica, they are going to have a huge expendable fleet ready by 2025/2026.