Previous test flights with spacecraft prototypes did not exceed twelve kilometers, and those prototypes had only three engines, instead of six. So Musk cautions that he doesn’t expect a perfect flight right away. The space billionaire said, “This first space flight comes with a lot of risks. So I wouldn’t say that the chance of success is high, but I expect that we are making a lot of progress.”
Musk said he hopes SpaceX will be able to make a total of a dozen test flights on the spacecraft over the next year, and possibly more. It is not known when the first manned flights were planned. A manned flight around the moon with, among others, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be coming soon in 2023.
The Starship, if development of the device is to be successful, should eventually bring people to Mars and could also serve as a fast service between places on Earth. The journey between London and New York takes about half an hour.
For this purpose, SpaceX has purchased drilling rigs on which Starships can land vertically. In the meantime, Musk’s ambitions go further. “Ultimately, the Starship is designed as a public transportation for the entire solar system,” SpaceX CEO said tonight.
SpaceX is also building a special version of the Starship for NASA to serve as a lunar lander for the new manned moon program, Artemis. Its development has been stalled for a long time due to legal action brought by rival Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, which is also developing a lunar lander with two other entrepreneurs. Earlier this month, a federal court ruled that NASA legally awarded the contract to SpaceX.
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