SpaceX One-Ups New Space Race with Interplanetary Transport System

SpaceX just announced that it's taking humanity to Mars and beyond. SpaceX made their announcement on the heels of Blue Origin announcing their New Glenn launch system - a big step from their suborbital New Shepard rockets aimed at space tourism. SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) will be larger than the Saturn V, the largest rocket humanity has produced so far.

The ITS will be capable of taking humans to Mars, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk plans to make use of that. His goal is to put 1 million people on Mars with manned missions starting in 2024, if not earlier. The ITS will be capable of taking humans to other destinations as well. I've heard Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus mentioned as likely early destinations.

The ITS's first stage booster will land upright, like the Falcon 9, and will be reusable. This will help mitigate the cost of the system and should reduce the price of a ticket to Mars to just $200,000...the same price that Virgin Galactic plans to charge for short, suborbital space tourism flights. has a good article with details about SpaceX's new ITS.

I'm extremely impressed by the advances in space launch technology we're seeing from private corporations. Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic,