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SpaceX Delays Red Dragon Mission To Mars

Lander Will Not Be Ready In 2018 As The Company Had Hoped

SpaceX has pushed its planned launch of an unmanned probe to Mars two years into the future, according to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.

Speaking at a pre-launch briefing at NASA's Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Shotwell said that the robotic lander dubbed Red Dragon will not be ready in 2018 as the company had planned.

Engadget reports that Shotwell said that the company needs to "needed to put more resources and focus more heavily on our crew program and our Falcon Heavy program." That is pushing the Mars mission into the "2020 timeframe."

That's still better than the original plan which had Red Dragon heading to Mars in 2022. That target had been revised to 2018.

Red Dragon is being developed to test systems and techniques the company will eventually use to send a equipment and supplies to Mars in advance of a possible manned mission.

(Image from NASA video)



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