Elon Musk reveals plans for Starship, the rocket that will take humans to Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk held a much-anticipated talk on the Starship spacecraft, which the company hopes will one day take humans to Mars. The company revealed when and how the rocket’s first flight into space will take place.

Credit: SpaceX

Elon Musk shared new information about SpaceX’s “Starship” rocket, which will one day take people and cargo to the Moon, Mars and other space destinations. it’s about the first major Starship conference since 2019and this one was held at the company’s Starbase facility in Texas.

At the event, with the 120-meter spacecraft in the background, the world’s richest person said he is “highly confident” that Starship will be launched into orbit this year. ” We go through the regulatory approval process and the preparation of the material at about the same time said Musk.

A first flight in March for the giant rocket

During the presentation, Elon Musk announced that his Starship rocket could make its first orbital flight around March. Originally, SpaceX hoped to get the green light at the end of 2021, but delays led the company to postpone the first flight of the giant rocket. According to the FAA, the environmental assessment will continue until at least February 28, 2022. Last year, Elon Musk expected a dozen flights for Starship in 2022.

If the FAA demands more information about potential environmental impacts or legal action is taken, Musk said Starship launches could be moved to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, that would delay the first orbital launch by more than six months, Musk said.

How will Starship flights be?

On the occasion of the conference last night, the billionaire unveiled a video that shows us in detail how the flight of Starship should take place. As you can see below, after leaving our planet, the booster will detach and return to its launch tower, where it will be grabbed by the arms of the “Mechazilla” tower.

You’re not dreaming, rather than landing its rocket on the ground as is currently the case with the Falcon 9, SpaceX intends to catch the Super Heavy booster in full flight. Musk said that the booster will spend a total of six minutes in the air, two on the ascent and four on its return trip to the launch pad. In the future, the system could be reused every six to eight hours to allow SpaceX to perform three launches per day. Eventually, Musk said he plans to build 1,000 spaceships that would transport people and goods to space.

SpaceX Mechazilla
Credit: SpaceX

What will Starship’s missions be for the next few years?

NASA plans to use the fully reusable Starship to landing astronauts on the moon by 2025. Indeed, last April, NASA awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract for using the Starship to bring astronauts to the lunar surface from Gateway, an agency outpost said to be orbiting the moon, or from NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

Musk, meanwhile, hopes to send astronauts to the moon as soon as 2024. He then plans to deploy a fleet of Starships to create a city on Mars and transport equipment and people there within 10 years. As a reminder, Starship is designed to carry 100 passengers or 100 metric tons of other payloads.

SpaceX Mars
Credit: SpaceX

Before embarking on the conquest of space, the Starship spacecraft should help the Falcon 9 rockets to put thousands of Starlink satellites into orbit. Since the Starship will be fully reusable, Elon Musk expects to cut the cost of space travel by 100 or more. ” It could be as little as a few million dollars per flight – maybe even as little as a million dollars per flight said Musk. ” These are incredibly low numbers by space standards. “. Thanks to his Starship rocket, Elon Musk could therefore embark on a real space conquest, or even democratize tourism in space.

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