Elon Musk is once again about to beat out his SpaceX competitors, with claims that his Starship will soon be ready to launch. According to the billionaire, SpaceX’s Starship could be ready to reach orbit as soon as next month.
“At this point, I am highly confident we will get to orbit this year,” Musk said. He said that this development “does sound crazy.” However, during his Starship update, which is the first in two years, he pushed all doubts aside. “It will work,” he added. “There might be a few bumps along the way, but it will work.”
SpaceX’s Starship is meant to be the first all-purpose space vehicle. It will be able to take people and cargo directly to the moon. Plus, it’s quickly reusable and refuelable, by space standards. This will take Musk one step closer to his goal of landing on Mars.
“It is the kind of thing we used to talk about as ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could do these kinds of things?'” said Scott Altman, a former astronaut. While this development is nothing short of amazing, NASA and other private space companies are not thrilled.
If SpaceX’s Starship Successfully Launches, Other Space Travel Becomes Obsolete
As we know, NASA has begun the process of readying their teams for a human mission to the moon. This won’t happen anytime soon, though. That’s part of what makes Elon Musk’s announcement so scary for the space agency. NASA is years behind schedule and billions of dollars above budget on their own project, called Artemis, yet SpaceX is almost ready to go into orbit. We can almost assume that their technology and innovation does not compare to what SpaceX’s Starship is equipped with.
The rocket NASA will use keeps getting delayed. Even when it finally does launch, the price will be costly. According to Politico, it’s estimated that it will cost $2 billion for each launch of the SLS rocket.
This is what makes SpaceX‘s Starship a threat to NASA and space contractors. It’s already completed one successful trip. As it continues to get used, we might find that the spacecraft made by other agencies simply do not compare. Thus, will all of this work on the SLS be for nothing?
“Once the new system’s reliability is demonstrated with a large number of flights, which could happen in a matter of months, it will obsolesce all existing launch systems,” said Rand Simberg, an aerospace engineer. “If SLS is not going to fly more than once every couple of years, it’s just not going to be a significant player in the future in space, particularly when Starship is flown.”
Simberg went on to say that if SpaceX’s Starship can prove its worth, “it will revolutionize spaceflight.” For once, NASA had nothing to say about Elon Musk’s announcement. Neither did any of the space agency’s contractors.