SpaceX’s Elon Musk has announced he is planning to send his Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018.
The billionaire has long targeted a trip to Mars and has previously said he can get humans to the red planet by 2026.
SpaceX is planning “Red Dragon” missions to Mars to test technology for bigger missions.
In a tweet, Elon Musk said that its Dragon 2 spacecraft is “designed to be able to land anywhere in the solar system”.
However, Elon Musk “wouldn’t recommend transporting astronauts beyond Earth-moon region” as the internal area of the spacecraft is only the size of a large car.
“Wouldn’t be fun for longer journeys,” he said in a tweet.
SpaceX has been developing rockets and has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the International Space Station (ISS).
On April 27, the company won an $83 million contract from the US Air Force to launch a satellite for GPS navigation services.
It is a significant win for SpaceX as, for the last decade, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been supplying space launches for the military.
In December 2015, SpaceX had another breakthrough, landing its Falcon-9 unmanned rocket upright.
That was an important development in its plan to cut the cost of space launches by re-using rockets.