Sunday, 3 November 2019
Space X wants to reach the moon aboard the Starship before 2022
Space X wants to land on the moon even before 2022 aboard its Starship spacecraft, designed for interplanetary travel. Two years later, in 2024, the space company says it is sending humans to the natural satellite.
Starship is currently being developed at the facilities of visionary and billionaire Elon Musk's company in Florida and Texas in the United States.
The vehicle, explains the Europa Press news agency, aims to be the all-in-one successor and a replacement for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, with greater payload capacity and could reach the moon and eventually as far as Mars.
"Aspirationally, we want the spacecraft to orbit within a year," said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, in a series of brief interviews with space companies that took place in Washington.
“We definitely want to land on the moon before 2022. We want to […] haul cargo there to make sure there are resources for the people who finally land on the moon by 2024… If all goes well, this is the aspirational time period.” added the head of Space X, quoted by the portal Tech Crunch.
Shotwell admitted that the timeframe is ambitious, stressing that these are “aspirational” dates. Still, the Space X expert sees these "tight" dates as a great source of motivation for her workers.
“Elon [Musk] presents these incredibly audacious goals and people say, 'You will never do this, you will never orbit, you will never have a real rocket to orbit.… So frankly, I love it when they say we can't do it, because that motivates my fantastic 6,500 employees to do so. ”
So far, the company has built and tested a demonstration vehicle called the Starhopper, which consists only of the base of the vehicle and one of the Raptor engines that will be used in the new spacecraft launch system and Super Heavy reinforcement.
Following successful low-altitude flights with this vehicle, SpaceX has assembled its Mk1 and Mk2 Starship test vehicles, which represent the full scale of the orbital spacecraft. Before moving on to interplanetary travel, further altitude tests will be conducted. Only later will Space X build additional prototypes for orbital flights and ultimately for human-manned flights.