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Elon Musk sets up SpaceX fans for a surprise

Elon Musk
One year after unveling his Mars plan at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, SpaceX founder Elon Musk will return to the stage this week in Australia. (SpaceX via YouTube)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says he’ll unveil “major improvements and some unexpected applications” this week when he updates his plan for sending thousands of settlers to Mars starting in the 2020s.

The update is coming in a talk Musk is giving to the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, set for about 9:30 p.m. PT Sept. 28 (2 p.m. Sept. 29 in Adelaide). The IAC’s organizers say the talk will be live-streamed.)

This week’s talk follows up on Musk’s appearance at the IAC last September in Mexico, during which he laid out a detailed plan to develop a new type of monster spaceship and booster for Mars trips, known as the Interplanetary Transport System or ITS.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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