Elon Musk tweeted on Wednesday that Spacex will be sending a Red Dragon space vehicle to Mars in 2018 for a test run of settlement voyages from Earth to Mars. In this first test, a Red Dragon will land on the surface of the Red Planet (shown above right in a forward impression), using propulsive braking, that is, like flying saucers do in movies. This Red Dragon will not carry any humans to Mars, only test equipment. Mr Musk also showed us an animation still image (above left) of the lift-off, from Earth, of the large Falcon Heavy rocket Spacex will build and use to propel their Red Dragon to Mars.
This announcement is good news for Two Planet Steel. Rif Miles Olsen, Founder of Two Planet Steel, said "Elon Musk's tweets show his intention to settle Mars sooner than later and that Red Dragons, or their updates, are key parts of his early settlement plans. The use of vehicles similar to Red Dragons is also a key part of our view of how Mars settlement should proceed. We will make small-scale steel-making equipment that can easily be transported to the Red Planet's surface inside small vehicles like Red Dragons. It is great that Elon Musk thinks we can make progress settling Mars with such small and, very importantly, such affordable vehicles. We may well have just gotten a lot closer to settling Mars and sooner than most people think."