The Pentagon will evaluate the certification for Elon Musk's SpaceX launch vehicles to determine whether the US Air Force complied with certain guidelines, according to a memo on Monday. "Our objective is to determine whether the US Air Force complied with the Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide when certifying the launch system design for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-class SpaceX Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles," US Department Of Defence Deputy Inspector General Michael Roark said in the memo. The review will begin this month, according to the memo.
Earlier, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he is ready to send humans to the red planet within the next decade. Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, Musk wrote, "I'm confident moving to Mars ... will one day cost less than $500k & maybe even below $100k," Musk tweeted on Sunday, "low enough that most people in advanced economies could sell their home on Earth & move to Mars if they want." He added that if anyone decides they don't like Mars (there are plenty of reasons to hate it), a "return ticket is free."
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SpaceX is working to complete the Starship, a fully reusable stainless-steel vehicle designed to comfortably transport around 100 humans to Mars and even beyond. The Starship uses liquid oxygen and methane to power its Raptor engines, meaning humans can set up a propellant plant on Mars to create more fuel and return to Earth. Musk claimed on Monday that “there’s a path” to building the Starship for less than the Falcon 9 SpaceX currently uses to send satellites into space, estimated to cost $62 million, according to Inverse report.
Part of Musk’s plan is to make the cost of upping sticks and moving to Mars as attractive as possible, as Mars will need large numbers of people to help develop a sustainable colony. Musk said at the 2016 International Astronautical Congress that “Mars would have labour shortage for a long time so jobs wouldn’t be in short supply.” To make the offer attractive, Musk explained that the company would have to bring the cost of moving down to the median cost of a house in the United States at around $200,000. Reaching this figure, Musk said, would mean “the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” Inverse reported.