Musk: SpaceX Mars Spaceships To Be Ready For Test Flights By Early 2019 Written 12 March 2018

USA Today reports that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke at the SXSW Conference in Austin, and predicted that the company’s spaceships for Mars missions will be ready for test flights by the first half of 2019. During his talk, Musk asserted, “In the short-term, Mars is really about getting the spaceship built,” which will demonstrate to other companies and countries that the task is possible and encourage them to build their own. Musk argued that competitors “currently don’t think it’s possible, so if we show them that it is, they’ll up their game and build interplanetary transport vehicles, as well.”  
More Info (USA Today)