Elon Musk hopes to launch a new rocket in two months

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says SpaceX’s recent truncated Starship test flight didn’t derail plans to land astronauts on the moon as early as 2025, here’s why.

Speaking before the House Science Committee on April 27, NASA Administrator Nelson said that despite the explosion that destroyed the Starship integrated vehicle, SpaceX is optimistic about launching another Starship within just two months.

He explained SpaceX’s “hardware-heavy” approach to vehicle development, with multiple Starship and Super Heavy vehicles in production, allowing for a quick turnaround. However, Nelson clarified that the possibility of a new launch depended not only on the repair of the launch pad and the assembly of the next vehicle, but also on the completion of the investigation of the April 20 launch and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval.

SpaceX is confident to relaunch Starship quickly

During the launch of Starship, we could see that the rocket had heavily damaged the launch area. It would therefore seem that SpaceX has committed to rebuilding it in just two monthswhich could allow it to attempt an orbital flight again by this summer.

Recall that NASA is closely monitoring the progress made on Starship, since it selected this vehicle for its Human Landing System (HLS) program two years ago. NASA awarded SpaceX two contracts worth a total of $4 billion to develop a lunar lander variant of Starship to transport astronauts to the lunar surface on the Artemis 3 and Artemis 4 missions.

Nelson reaffirmed to the commission that he was “pretty confident” that Artemis 2 will launch by the end of 2024, and Artemis 3 about a year later. This setback encountered by Starship should therefore not disrupt NASA’s current schedule, since even if the rocket exploded in the middle of its mission, the latter allowed Elon Musk’s company to amass a large number of data that will allow it to progress. It is hoped that future flights will go as planned, as the first one may have spread dangerous particles into the air.

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