spacex mars 9
A model of what the first people to step Mars might see. SpaceX

The modern day space race isn’t between two countries. It’s between a government agency and a private company, and the two actually work together sometimes to reach the finish line: Mars.

Elon Musk started SpaceX with the ultimate goal of colonizing Mars. He hopes to make humans a multiplanet species before an inevitable mass extinction event wipes out the entire race, he told the International Astronautical Congress last year. While the company has made swift progress since it was founded in 2002, it’s still behind NASA when it comes to space exploration.

Read: Trump, NASA Mars Mission: Elon Musk Says Bill Won't Get U.S. To Red Planet

NASA, founded in 1958, has had decades longer to study space, distant planets, other solar systems, black holes and all else off-planet. The agency has also successfully sent rovers and landing craft to Mars, two feats SpaceX has yet to accomplish. But that experience only can give NASA an advantage for so long. Progress in the mission to Mars seems to have all but stalled.

A video from NASA highlighting the work the agency did during the first half of 2017 doesn’t mention the mission to Mars at all. The final stages of the mission, scheduled for some time in the 2030s, are expected to be delayed as early stages already have been. Those last stages are going to be “Earth independent” and will involve humans in low Mars orbit, NASA said. But the plan comes with a nonspecific timeline and no hard and fast plan to land humans on the Red Planet.

President Donald Trump has urged NASA to get humans to Mars sooner than planned. During a video call with astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer who are currently on the International Space Station, Trump said: “We want to try and do it during my first term or at worst during my second term, so we’ll have to speed that up a little bit, OK?” In March he signed a bill to do just that. The measure granted NASA $19.5 billion in funding and instructed the agency to continue with plans to reach Mars.

Read: Elon Musk Mars Plan: Human Civilization Project On Red Planet Detailed

Elon Musk, however, does not believe Trump’s bill will speed up NASA’s trip to Mars, he said in a tweet in March after the bill was signed. Musk recently published his own plan to colonize Mars as a commentary in New Space. The commentary detailed a written version of the talk he gave at the astronautical congress in 2016. The commentary includes computer aided designs of the mission, including the ship, rockets and landing mechanisms.

SpaceX already has launched reusable rockets and resupply missions to the ISS for NASA, using the historic launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The company plans next year to send its first private citizens into space and is eyeing 2024 as the earliest possible year to send humans to Mars. The company first plans to send a craft equipped with just robots to the planet before sending any humans. The newly published plans from Musk, in addition to the speedy progress in launching reusable rockets and the upcoming launch of humans to space, offer a positive outlook for SpaceX.