Elon Musk just teased that one of SpaceX’s more future-focused projects might be more ambitious than previously thought. On Twitter, the SpaceX CEO revealed that the company’s Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) will need a new name, since in fact, it “can go well beyond Mars.”
This then promptly turned into a naming contest among Musk’s followers, with some great suggestions including “Heart of Gold,” which is lifted from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and which Musk said was his “favorite fictional spaceship.” Sorry, Serenity – at least Millennium Falcon got a shout-out for SpaceX’s existing reusable rocket line.
Musk threw out his own suggestion, too:
The MCT is SpaceX’s personnel transport craft, designed to be used with the company’s large Raptor rocket engine to transport the first humans to Mars, with a pilot unmanned launch planned for 2022, and a first flight with people on board slated for 2024. Musk’s teaser is timely – we should find out more about the MCT and its mission at the International Astronautical Congress on September 27, where the Spacex CEO is a special keynote speaker, and will deliver an address called “Making Humans a Multiplanetary Species.”