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Sorry, Musk! Boeing says it will win competition to Mars

Astronaut Scott Kelly: We're prepared for Mars

Watch out, Elon Musk. The competition to put a initial chairman on Mars is heating up.

Boeing (BA) CEO Dennis Muilenburg says his association skeleton to kick Musk’s SpaceX to a Red Planet.

“I’m assured that a initial chairman to step feet on Mars will arrive there roving on a Boeing rocket,” he told an creation conference in Chicago.

His comments come a week after Musk set out his possess plans to inhabit Mars. The SpaceX CEO has pronounced he wants to send humans to a universe in 2024, with a booster touching down in 2025.

It wasn’t immediately transparent either Muilenburg believes Boeing can get there earlier or only expects Musk to skip his targets.

The SpaceX CEO, who also runs Tesla Motors (TSLA), admits he’s infrequently overoptimistic with his deadlines. “I’m not a best during this arrange of thing,” Musk pronounced final week during a assembly of space scrutiny associations in Mexico.

Related: SpaceX’s Elon Musk lays out devise to put humans on Mars

Boeing is building a rocket for NASA famous as a Space Launch System, that a space group skeleton to use to go to Mars by a 2030s.

Musk pronounced final week that SpaceX had successfully tested a new rocket engine it skeleton to use to take people to a universe within a subsequent 10 years.

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Besides Mars, Muilenburg also talked about other desirous ideas during a Chicago conference, like hypersonic transport that would take people “anywhere in a universe in a integrate of hours.”

“Over a final 100 years … group and women went from walking on a Earth to walking on a Moon,” he said. “But when we demeanour forward to a subsequent century, we consider a event for creation and large change is even greater.”

Related: Boeing and SpaceX in private space race

Boeing and SpaceX are already competing to be a initial private association to lift U.S. astronauts into space. Both already have contracts with NASA to take astronauts to a International Space Station.

SpaceX seemed to have gained an edge in May when Boeing pronounced it had pushed a date of a initial manned space goal behind to 2018 from 2017.

But Musk’s organisation suffered a reversal on Sept. 1 when one of a rockets was broken in an blast on a launch pad. The association is still perplexing to figure out what caused a burning blast, though it’s planning to lapse to space as shortly as November.

Chris Isidore and Jackie Wattles contributed to this report.

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