SpaceX will spend $300 million on Red Dragon Mars mission, NASA says

July 28, 2016 by Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times

SpaceX is likely spending about $300 million on its unmanned Red Dragon Mars mission, according to NASA estimates.

The topic came up at a NASA Advisory Council committee meeting Tuesday, when agency official Jim Reuter said SpaceX's spending on the mission was about 10 times that of NASA's, according to Space News.

NASA said it will provide SpaceX with technical support worth about $32 million over four years to help land the Dragon 2 on the Red Planet. Of that amount, about $6 million will be spent in fiscal year 2016.

NASA said the resources for this workforce already are dedicated to research on entry, descent and landing - the same kind of data it's looking to collect from the SpaceX mission.

Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX has said it will send the unmanned Dragon 2 spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018. That mission is intended to demonstrate a way to land large payloads on Mars without parachutes or other aerodynamic decelerators, the company said in April.

If all goes according to plan, a crewed to Mars could blast off in 2024 with arrival on the Red Planet in 2025, SpaceX has said.

Company Chief Executive Elon Musk has said he will give more details about SpaceX's "architecture for Mars colonization" in September at a global space conference.

Explore further: SpaceX aims to send 'Red Dragon' capsule to Mars in 2018 (Update)

Related Stories

Musk explains his 'cargo route' to Mars

June 12, 2016

SpaceX chief Elon Musk shed light on his new plan to send an unmanned spaceship to Mars as early as 2018, as part of his quest to some day colonize the Red Planet.

Recommended for you

Archaeologists discover Incan tomb in Peru

February 16, 2019

Peruvian archaeologists discovered an Incan tomb in the north of the country where an elite member of the pre-Columbian empire was buried, one of the investigators announced Friday.

Where is the universe hiding its missing mass?

February 15, 2019

Astronomers have spent decades looking for something that sounds like it would be hard to miss: about a third of the "normal" matter in the Universe. New results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory may have helped them ...

What rising seas mean for local economies

February 15, 2019

Impacts from climate change are not always easy to see. But for many local businesses in coastal communities across the United States, the evidence is right outside their doors—or in their parking lots.

The friendly extortioner takes it all

February 15, 2019

Cooperating with other people makes many things easier. However, competition is also a characteristic aspect of our society. In their struggle for contracts and positions, people have to be more successful than their competitors ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.