>> SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, making a bold claim, sending humans to Mars by 2024, more than a decade before NASA's own ambitions for the red planet. Musk, speaking at a conference in Australia, he says construction of the rocket to do the job will begin in the next nine months.
>> I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and be ready for launch in about five years. Five years seems a long time to me.>> The vehicle's working name is the BFR, for something we can't say in this video. At almost 350 feet, that's taller than the Statue of Liberty.
It would carry about a 100 people, and is said to be able to haul more cargo than the Saturn five rocket that brought men to the moon.>> Two and a half million pounds of thrust lift the vehicle->> SpaceX says it might also be able to be repurposed for Earth travel.
Say New York to Hong Kong in less than hour. But the BFR is actually a scaling back for the company. The rocket is a bit slimmer than a proposal made last year. It's also a stand alone system. Previously, SpaceX had planned to use a fleet of different vehicles for a Mars mission.
Downsizing in an effort to cut costs. SpaceX has previously said it will send two tourists on an orbit around the moon next year as well. Russia and China are also preparing manned lunar missions.