Boeing CEO says his company will beat SpaceX with humans to Mars

Elon Musk's response, 'Do it'

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, left, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg, left, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg said in an interview this week that he plans to beat SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in the race to land humans on Mars.

Boeing is a contractor for NASA's deep space rocket, known as Space Launch System, or SLS. The 36-story-tall mega rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral on its first test flight in 2019, but the program has experienced multiple funding and production delays.

"Eventually, we are going to go to Mars, and I firmly believe that the first person that sets foot on Mars will get there in a Boeing rocket," Muilenberg told CNBC.

Musk has made it clear his No. 1 goal in creating a commercial space company is to send humans to Mars. Of course, he had to weigh in on Meilenberg’s claim.

“Do it,” Musk tweeted in response to an article with the headline “Boeing CEO: We’re Going to Beat Elon Musk to Mars.”

Challenge accepted.

Earlier this year, Musk unveiled new details on how he plans to shuttle people to the Red Planet by 2024 using a launch system known as BFR, for Big F---ing Rocket.

It’s more likely that the attainable goal of once again launching humans from U.S. soil could be achieved by both companies.

In 2014, both Boeing and SpaceX were awarded NASA contracts to develop spacecraft for the commercial crew program.

The Boeing Starliner and SpaceX’s Dragon capsule could begin launching crew from the Space Coast by the end of 2018.

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