Elon Musk States That SpaceX Has Announced A Plan To Launch A ‘Starship’

Elon Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX, has put forth an announcement that the group will finally send its “starship” rocket into orbit in January.

As part of a call held with the National Academy of Sciences, the billionaire stated that there is “a lot of risk associated with this first launch, so I would not say that it is likely to be successful, but we’ll make a lot of progress.”

As reported by the AP:

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Musk said he’s confident Starship — launching for the first time atop a mega booster — will successfully reach orbit sometime in 2022. After a dozen or so orbital test flights next year, SpaceX then would start launching valuable satellites and other payloads to orbit on Starships in 2023, he said.

NASA has contracted with SpaceX to use Starship for delivering astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2025. Musk plans to use the reusable ships to eventually land people on Mars.

Musk stated that one day he plans to be able to build over 1,000 of these Starships in an effort to make the human race multi-planetary.

Starship, which is a vehicle that is able to carry over 220,000 pounds into space while being powered by a group of twenty-nine Raptor engines, is almost 400 feet tall. SpaceX first started prep for the vessel to make its launch a few months back at the space hub it holds near Boca Chica Village, Texas. As reported by a filing from the Federal Communications Commission that describes the mission:

The Starship Orbital test flight will originate from Starbase, TX. The Booster stage will separate approximately 170 seconds into flight. The Booster will then perform a partial return and land in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 20 miles from the shore. The Orbital Starship will continue on flying between the Florida Straits. It will achieve orbit until performing a powered, targeted landing approximately 100km (~62 miles) off the northwest coast of Kauai in a soft ocean landing.

In the span of the last 20 years, SpaceX has taken a stance toward cutting costs through the use of reusable rockets that have the ability to land themselves. In the last year and a half, SpaceX has ferried multiple dozens of satellites into orbit and was able to carry two American astronauts up to the International Space Station, which marked as the first time that astronauts have been sent up from American soil in almost a decade.

These cost-cutting measures, if proven stable, would lead to an even stronger interest in space tourism which has already been on the rise in the past few months.

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