- SpaceX is talking with NASA about a mission to drill to look for life.
- The mission, nicknamed 'Red Dragon,' would cost "millions, not billions."
NASA is working with Space Exploration Technologies to go well beyond simply supplying ferry flights to the International Space Station. The firm, headed by internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, is talking with NASA about going to Mars, on the cheap.
"We figured out that for a pretty low cost, a Dragon capsule on a Falcon Heavy (rocket) could go to Mars for hundreds of millions of dollars, not billions," Pete Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, said during the NewSpace 2011 commercial space conference over the weekend.
Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, is preparing to launch its second test Dragon capsule on Nov. 30 with the intention of docking it at the space station. In addition to carrying cargo to and from the station, SpaceX plans to upgrade the Dragon to fly people into space and to one day land it on Mars.