NASA has a roadmap to get people to Mars by the 2030s, but Congress has been delaying these plans, saying that a Mars mission would be too costly and that the agency should focus on lunar expeditions instead.
At last week's Code Conference, Musk said he'd get to the Red Planet by 2024 and he's even made plans to build a city there. He promises more details in September at the International Aeronautical Congress that is happening in Mexico.
This activity from the private space industry may spur the U.S. government to reconsider it's approach. It would be disappointing for NASA, one of the most popular government agencies, to fall behind SpaceX. ES