Elon Musk has announced that SpaceX is planning on using a Falcon 9 Heavy to launch a modified and unmanned Dragon 2 space capsule to Mars. In 2018.
Planning to send Dragon to Mars as soon as 2018. Red Dragons will inform overall Mars architecture, details to come pic.twitter.com/u4nbVUNCpA
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2016
Seems the Dragon 2 has been designed to be an all-round planetary lander, supposedly good for “anywhere in the solar system” (oh, yeah, smart guy? Like, the sun? Jupiter? Detroit?). That’s certainly handy, but they’ll need an ascent vehicle if they want to send (and recover) humans.