Elon Musk updated his Starship rocket at a joint fall virtual meeting of the Board for Space Studies and the Board of Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies, and unveiled the launch schedule.
SpaceX currently uses its mid-size Falcon 9 rockets to conduct manned missions for NASA, launch its small Starlink Internet satellites, and carry payloads for other customers. However, the Falcon 9 is limited, as it will not allow to transport crews to the Moon or other planets in our solar system.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said yesterday that his company is planning a dozen launches of its Starship rocket in 2022, designed specifically for such trips. The billionaire also specified that he would try to put his futuristic rocket into orbit in January, but he is not betting on the success of this first test flight.
Starship will be the world’s largest rocket to reach orbit
Starship is a next-generation rocket from SpaceX designed to carry human payloads and passengers to the Moon and Mars. When stacked on a super heavy propellant, the rocket is approximately 120 meters high. Therefore, it is the largest of its kind.
To date, SpaceX has built 12 Starship prototypes and tested five for high-altitude flight, most of which have exploded in flight or on landing. However, the last flight with the SN15 prototype went well and was a great step forward in the conquest of space. The first orbital test scheduled for early 2022 will use a prototype numbered SN20 and an amplifier called BN4.
The US space agency NASA is confident that Starship will become the lander used as part of its Artemis program to bring humans back to the moon, at the earliest by 2025. Jeff Bezos also wanted to be part of the program, but Blue Origin ultimately lost its case against NASA, leaving the field open for SpaceX to become the first private company to transport humans to the moon. For this lunar mission, we were also able to find Thomas Pesquet, who recently returned from his second and final trip to the ISS.
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