Elon Musk just used Instagram to show how his rocket company would land humans on Mars

Someday, Elon Musk just might get humans to Mars.

The billionaire’s rocket company, SpaceX, is getting tantalizingly close to developing reusable rockets and a whole suite of spacecraft destined for the Red Planet.

It’s already successfully tested models of its Dragon space capsule — a vessel designed specifically for shuttling cargo and eventually astronauts to the International Space Station. If Musk has his way, a more advanced model, called Red Dragon, will carry the first humans to Mars.

On Sept. 14, Musk posted up storm on Instagram, sharing a few illustrations of Red Dragon and what it would look like landing on Mars. 

After travelling millions of miles, the Red Dragon would finally enter Mars' orbit.

(Instagram) Illustration of Dragon in Mars orbit

A photo posted by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Sep 14, 2015 at 2:56pm PDT

Then it would plunge into the Red Planet's atmosphere, travelling so fast that it will need to withstand temperatures of around 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Once it nears the surface of the planet, Red Dragon would fire its supersonic thrusters to line itself up for the landing.

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The capsule would then touch down on Mars.

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And the humans inside would step out onto Martian soil.

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SpaceX has already successfully tested Dragon and Dragon 2. The Red Dragon could be on its way sooner than we think.

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Musk is certainly optimistic. He thinks we'll see the first humans on Mars in 11 or 12 years.

NASA

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