Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, wants to start building a space colony on Mars by the middle of the next decade. He has already come out with a detailed step-by-step plan to achieve this feat. Mars-One of Europe also has similar plans, sending a fleet of humans every few years from the middle of the next decade. NASA is not as ambitious though.

The American space agency wants to put humans in the red planet sometime in the middle of the 2030s.

But now, Dennis Muilenburg, the Chief Executive of Boeing (NYSE:BA) says they will be the first to take humans to Mars, and not SpaceX. Answering a question at a tech conference in Chicago, Dennis says, “I’m convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket”. We will beat Musk’s SpaceX he added.

<h4>Can Boeing Reach Mars Before SpaceX?</h4>

Dennis though didn’t clarify whether Boeing can reach the planet before SpaceX, or whether he thinks that Musk will miss the target date.

SpaceX has a history of missing delivery dates. In fact, Musk, who also heads Tesla Motors, has himself conceded this, saying at a conference in Mexico, “I am sometimes overoptimistic with my deadlines. I’m not the best at this sort of thing”.

The company is presently developing a rocket for NASA that will be used to reach Mars in the 2030s. It is called the Space Launch System. Dennis Muilenburg also spoke about Boeing’s other ambitious plans such as hypersonic travel, which can take people anywhere in the world in just a couple of hours.

<h4>Boeing’s Long History in Space Business</h4>

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has worked in the space business for a long time. They have been the primary contractor of NASA since the inception of the space agency.

SpaceX had an edge though last May when Being disclosed that they have pushed back the date of the first manned space mission from 2017 to 2018. However, Musk had a setback soon, when an explosion destroyed one of their rockets on the launch pad. It is still unclear what caused the explosion.

The two companies are in competition to become the first private business that will carry American astronauts into space. They both have contracts with NASA.

Space is certainly emerging as the next frontier for many businesses. There is a race to reach the red planet. Businesses are also finding out ways to mine the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which holds a lot of resources.