Elon Musk updates timeline for ‘successful’ spacecraft orbital launch

Elon Musk updates timeline for ‘successful’ spacecraft orbital launch


SpaceX chairman Elon Musk on Tuesday gave a schedule for the orbital launch of spaceshipdeveloped and tested at the company’s launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

What happened: When one of Musk’s Twitter followers shared a picture of the spacecraft and asked when an orbital launch was likely, the world’s richest person said a “successful” orbital flight was likely in one to 12 months.

The question was prompted by Musk’s own tweet sharing a CNBC video titled “Why Starship is the Holy Grail For SpaceX.” Musk praised the video, calling it a “good CNBC article about SpaceX & Starship.”

Why it matters: The Starship spacecraft and super-heavy rocket, collectively called the Starship, is a fully reusable system to transport both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon and Mars. Last month, the spacecraft experienced a mishap when Booster 7 exploded out of Raptor engines. The CEO of SpaceX – who also leads Tesla, Inc. TSLA – allayed concerns and said damage was minor and an orbital flight would begin in August.

Musk’s recent update has now pushed the schedule forward by one to 12 months. However, he had made it a priority for it to be successful.

Starship is key to realizing Musk’s vision of making human life multiplanetary. The tech entrepreneur expects Starship to loop around the moon in 2023 and land on Mars by 2026. In April 2021, NASA awarded SpaceX one $2.9 billion fixed price contract to transport the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.

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