For years now, Elon Musk's SpaceX has been fairly open about its aim of sending people to Mars by 2024 using its mammoth spacecraft that will carry around 100 people at a time.
This spacecraft has always been widely known as the Mars Colonial Transporter, but Musk took to Twitter on September 16 to say that name isn't quite accurate anymore, stating "Turns out MCT can go well beyond Mars, so will need a new name…"
We weren't left waiting long, either, as by September 17 he had rechristened it the Interplanetary Transport System.
We'll need somewhere to hide from the Martians
This is a well-timed announcement on the part of Musk since he is expected to reveal more about the Interplanetary Transport System and the mission around it at the International Astronautical Congress on September 27. At the event Musk will deliver a keynote speech titled "Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species."
The title of his speech and the new name he has chosen for the project shows that Musk is as ambitious as ever in his plans to take humans to our solar system's other potentially-habitable worlds.
The SpaceX CEO is clearly undeterred by the recent explosion of a Falcon 9 rocket at a test-fire in Cape Canaveral, despite the fact the The Raptor engine being used in the ITS is said to be around three times more powerful than that used in the Falcon 9.
It'll be interesting to see just how detailed Musk will be in laying out his plans for the ITS mission and whether he'll reveal where, other than Mars, SpaceX is setting its sights.
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