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Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told CNBC that his company will beat SpaceX to Mars.
Host Jim Cramer asked if it would be Muilenburg or Musk who would “get a man on Mars first.”
“Eventually we’re going to go to Mars and I firmly believe the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there on a Boeing rocket,” Muilenburg responded.
As news of the segment received coverage, Musk retweeted a Fortune headline that read “Boeing CEO: We’re Going to Beat Elon Musk to Mars.” Musk added, “Do it.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 7, 2017
The Fortune story offers some of Muilenburg’s comments to CNBC regarding Boeing’s effort to reach Mars.
“We’re working on that next generation rocket right now with our NASA customers called ‘Space Launch System,’” Muilenburg said. “This is a rocket that’s about 36 stories tall, we’re in the final assembly right now, down near New Orleans. And we’re going to take a first test flight in 2019 and we’re going to do a slingshot mission around the moon.”
Musk said in September that SpaceX is in the process of overhauling its fleet of space vehicles to focus on a new Interplanetary Transport System, codenamed the BFR (Big F-ing Rocket).
The company will start building the first BFR ship in 2018, and Musk “feels confident” they can launch the first human mission to Mars in about five years.