Elon Musk fully intends to bring humans back to the moon by 2024.
But now the billionaire disruptor is accelerating the time table. That news came in an unofficial way, but how Elon Musk enjoys communicating — via social media.
A Twitter fan account devoted to NASA’s Artemis Program, posed a question Saturday and tagged Musk.
“Everything Artemis” wrote: “NASA has started its @SpaceX lunar lander payments. Hopefully (and I trust) the SpaceX team will work fast. @elonmusk do you expect to have Lunar Starship ready to land humans in 2024 (despite other delays)?”
Elon Musk Now Says Moon Mission Will Be Sooner
Two minutes after the tweet, Elon Musk replied “probably sooner.” Musk also posted on Twitter that he expected the “first orbital stack of Starship” will be “ready for flight in a few weeks, pending only regulatory approval.”
Elon Musk and SpaceX have joined NASA for a project called “Artemis.” And its mission is to take people back to the moon. No one has been there since 1972. SpaceX, as part of the nearly $3 billion contract, is developing a human landing system to be used in the missions to the moon. Billionaire Jeff Bezos with Blue Origin is trying to land a second contract for a human landing system. He and Elon Musk swap places on the world’s richest person’s list, depending on the month.
However, much of Artemis will rely on NASA technology. The rocket that will go to the moon is NASA’s Space Launch System. And the astronauts will ride in NASA’s Orion capsule.
Elon Musk hasn’t been shy about his lofty goals for space travel. At the beginning of 2020, he predicted that by 2050, his spaceships will be able to transport as many as 100 people at a time to Mars. His goal is to make the rockets sustainable and space travel affordable.
But before any of this happens, SpaceX needs to refine its rockets. Back in May, SpaceX successfully landed its Starship prototype, SN15. SpaceX said these ships will be reusable and eventually capable of carrying astronauts and cargo to the moon and even to Mars.
SpaceX Launches Its Rockets from Far South Texas
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is launching its rockets from Boca Chica Beach in far South Texas near the border with Mexico. The first four launches ended in explosions before they could land. They did launch successfully.
The SpaceX Starship rocket, with its booster, stands 394 feet tall.
Elon Musk and SpaceX is planning an orbital Starship flight by the end of 2021. And Musk also plans to fly Yusaku Maezawa around the moon in 2023. Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire who sold his fashion business in 2019. Back in March, Maezawa announced that he was looking for eight people to man his crew for the moon mission. He intends to pay for the entire cost of taking him to the moon.
SpaceX already used its Falcon 9 rocket to transport four astronauts to the International Space Station. That was in November 2020.