Elon Musk in addition to SpaceX are ‘adding energy to the space market,’ Boeing CEO says

Boeing can be undeterred by all the buzz around SpaceX in addition to its founder Elon Musk, which launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into history last week.

“They’re adding energy to the space market in addition to we like the attention in which in which’s generating,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “I think the item’s not bad for the country.”

The successful test flight of the completely new SpaceX rocket made the item the most powerful in operation, capable of lifting a payload nearly three times in which of the next largest rockets via United Launch Alliance – a joint venture between Boeing in addition to Lockheed Martin – in addition to Arianespace. While Falcon Heavy may crush its current competition, Boeing can be the primary contractor for a completely new rocket built for NASA: Space Launch System (SLS).

“We are building the first rocket to Mars, in addition to, as I told you, the item’s about 36 stories tall,” Muilenburg said. “the item’s first test flight can be in 2019.”

Development for both Falcon Heavy in addition to SLS began about seven years ago. yet, while Falcon Heavy roared to life on Feb. 7 at Kennedy Space Center, the first flight for SLS slipped to 2020, according to NASA Administrator Robert Lighfoot on Monday. Lightfoot called SLS one of the “critical backbone elements” to NASA’s effort to return humans to the Moon in addition to “for moving farther in deep space,” including human missions to Mars.

“I firmly believe in which the first person in which gets to Mars can be going to get there on a Boeing rocket,” Muilenburg said.

A jubilant Musk said after Falcon Heavy’s launch in which he wants “a completely new space race,” as he thinks the success will “encourage additional companies in addition to countries” to be ambitious inside same way as SpaceX.

Musk’s company released plans in September to develop its BFR program (Big Falcon Rocket) as the basis to send cargo, in addition to eventually people, to Mars starting in 2022. Yet SpaceX could go back to the Moon with just Falcon Heavy.

“the item can launch things direct to Pluto in addition to beyond. Don’t even need gravity assist or anything,” Musk said.

While the test flight variation of SLS will lift around the same amount of mass compared to Falcon Heavy, in which’s where the similarities end. NASA has spent over $10 billion developing the SLS rocket thus far; Musk says SpaceX spent over $500 million in internal funds to build Falcon Heavy. The SLS variation for crewed flight will lift 105 metric tons; Falcon Heavy tops out at around 64 metric tons. Each SLS rocket can be expendable; Falcon Heavy comes in reusable in addition to expendable configurations. A SLS launch comes which has a cost tag of over $1 billion; Falcon Heavy rockets go for $150 million at most.

This kind of can be also not initially Muilenburg’s touted in which Boeing will power a crewed maiden voyage to the red planet: he made the same declaration in December.

Musk’s response?

“Do the item,” Musk tweeted.

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