SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveils Mars rocket concept


SpaceX on Tuesday unveiled a concept for a more than 400-foot-tall rocket packing nearly four times the power of NASA's Saturn V moon rocket that could deliver people to Mars in the next decade.

News 6 partner Florida Today reports company CEO Elon Musk discussed the system in a presentation titled "Making Humans a Multi-planetary Species" at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.

SpaceX posted a video in advance and Musk shared some details on Twitter, including the 400-foot height of the rocket and spaceship, and the spaceship's nearly 56-foot diameter.

The video shows the rocket blasting off with passengers from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A, the launching point for the Apollo moon landing missions. The rocket generates nearly 29 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

The booster flies back to the launch site, where a crane hoists a fuel tanker on top of it. The tanker then launches and meets up with the spaceship, fueling it for the trip to Mars.

Upon arriving at the Red Planet, the spaceship fires engines and deploys landing legs to touch down, similar to how SpaceX has landed six Falcon 9 rocket boosters.

Musk has said the big rocket could launch as soon as 2022 and a first crew of Mars colonizers could fly as soon as two years later.