NASA’s new space vehicle, the Dragon spacecraft, is headed to Mars.
The spacecraft, the first privately funded Mars mission since 2009, is scheduled to arrive in the Red Planet in 2020.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is the prime contractor for the Dragon and is expected to launch it in 2020 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
NASA said the spacecraft will be capable of traveling between 1.6 and 2.2 times the speed of sound.
NASA/JPL-CaltechThe vehicle is expected be capable, NASA said, of traveling up to 10 times the amount of distance that humans can travel.
The Dragon will be powered by two large liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen engines, powered by liquid oxygen from the United Launch Alliance rocket engine.
The vehicle is designed to take astronauts to the Red Mars and to the surface of the Red planet, NASA officials said.
The cost of the vehicle is estimated at $1.9 billion.
It is scheduled for a launch in 2022, with a flight by 2021.