Falcon 9R SpaceX

Elon Musk's SpaceX isn't just focused on advancing rocket technology or bringing supplies to the International Space Station. The private company is also focused on one day colonizing Mars—however outlandish that idea sounds—and Musk claims SpaceX has made some significant progress toward making that a reality.

So far we've been able to land spacecraft on Mars—Curiosity and Endeavor are currently exploring the Red Planet. But Musk recently said that SpaceX is closer to establishing a self-sustaining, permanent base on the alien planet. Musk admitted that headway isn't moving along as fast as he'd like, but he certainly seems confident enough to tell an audience during an International Space Development Conference last week.

Musk said progress on its reusable rocket is a key component to one day making it to Mars. Current conditions on the Martian planet would make it impossible to land such heavy equipment, but SpaceX's technology could one day make that a reality. NASA, meanwhile, is also working on its own odd UFO spacecraft that could help humans step foot on Mars. That is if mankind could even endure the long journey through space.

SpaceX is currently working to improve is Falcon 9 rocket, and has plans to develop something even more advanced, dubbed Falcon Heavy rocket, which will be a heavy-lift variant. If Musk and his company can successfully develop something capable of traveling (and landing) to Mars, he believes it'll only cost a traveler a mere $500k. SpaceX's Dragon capsule, incidentally, which recently delivered cargo to the ISS, recently made its return back to Earth after being docked for about a month.

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