SpaceX is enlarging its much-awaited, next-gen Starship rocket with an aim to set dozens of people into Space. However, CEO Elon Musk claims that the rocket got various other targets to be achieved much before taking passengers into space.
“We’ve got to first make the thing work; automatically deliver satellites and do hundreds of missions with satellites before we put people on board,” quoted Mr CEO while addressing the virtual conference named “Human to Mars” on Monday.
Musk oriented all of the company’s attention to Starship and stressed on the fact that the rocket work must make a headway quite “dramatically and immediately” as reported in June 2020. The statement came from the CEO following fierce set-backs and complications suffered by the program during multiple testings and flight tests performed on the initial prototypes of Starship, the previous year. The tests were conducted in Boca Chica, Texas.
Of the four major set-backs that the company faced while testing the prototypes, the recent one occurred on May 29, 2020. The failure included the sudden explosion of the prototype no sooner an engine test was conducted.
Apparently the emphasis and urgency has resulted in some positive results.
Elon Musk reported the employees of SpaceX that the Starship project needs to be worked upon as the major priority. The declaration was made nearly a week later the company had launched the astronauts.
Also, this emphasis is speculated as a response to what NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, mentioned in his controversial comments just before SpaceX revealed the latest prototype. The Admin stated that they expect “to see the same level of enthusiasm” for SpaceX launching NASA astronauts as it was while launching the Starship program. To add on, he said that it was time to deliver.
The SpaceX Falcon9 rocket which took the NASA astronauts around the Space on May 30, is partially reusable, such that the boosters can be rehashed. However, Musk wants to develop a completely reusable rocket, analogous to a commercial aeroplane. This rocket will be capable of carrying as many as 100 passengers at a time or launch a cargo.
In short, Mr The CEO is exceptionally ambitious to transmute space travel into something nearly equivalent to air travel. The rocket size is expected to be extensive enough to launch 400 Starlinks Satellites in one shot. This number is nearly 7% of the number of satellites a Falcon9 rocket could launch ( nearly 60 satellites in one go).
Musk was hopeful that the rocket shall orbit Mars in that very year and would carry human beings in 2020, when the Starship prototype was first disclosed in September 2019.
The prototype was made of stainless steel and overlooked the company’s previous spacecrafts.
But he took a U-turn this Monday, stating that the first Starship launches to orbit “might not work,” saying that SpaceX is in “uncharted territory.” Significantly the first Starship’s Orbital flight test is not happening any sooner until the next year.
Musk announced that the company will commence with the construction of the first Super Heavy booster prototype “this week”. The work towards Starship’s next flight test is progressing at the Boca Chica facility.
Super Heavy forms the large bottom half of the Starship rocket. It bolsters most of the rocket’s engine and is used when the rocket is in the initial stages of the launching process.
As a short-term goal, SpaceX intends Starship to fly missions to the lower orbits of Earth followed by the Moon.
However, Musk is still casting his eye over the RED PLANET-MARS! The company is confident to reach Mars “given enough time”. But “how long will it take us? This is the question.”said Musk.
According to the CEO, getting to Mars is not a major issue. The fundamental issue is “building a base, building a city on Mars that is self-sustaining,” Musk added.
The company is working towards creating the base for its all time prevalent pursuit to reach the red planet.As it could be noted from what the CEO of SpaceX said:
- A propellant plant, which will form the initial Mars base shall be built by the Company soon.
- The plant will be called- Mars Base Alpha. It would be then taken to a point where it is able to sustain all by itself.
- The aim is to design a competent Mars Base.
The company has raised some $1.7 billion since the first month of 2019 and its valuation rose to approximately $46 Billion as recently reported by CNBC. The funding was raised quite smoothly keeping in sight the 3 major programs :
- The Crew Dragon spacecraft,
- Starlink internet satellites and
- The massive Starship rocket.
“We are making progress..” said Elon Musk. The statement came to post his pronouncement that the company’s prime concern for the days to come will be the Starship program. He mentioned that what led to an improved progress report is the production system.
“A year ago there was nothing there and now we’ve got quite a lot of production capability. So we’re rapidly making more and more ships.” we have written a separate article on his new company i.e Neuralink from Elon musk, What we know so far.
SpaceX’s mission to Mars is unequivocally a dangerous and life-risking thing, not for the ones with a weak heart. “Good chance you’ll die, it’s going to be tough going,” as already said by the CEO, however, it’s sure to turn out into something incredible if everything goes as planned.