SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket, destined to take humanity to the Moon and then Mars, could be launched into orbit for the first time in just two months, if all goes according to plan.
As SpaceX strings together satellite launches and missions to the International Space Station, all eyes remain on orbiting the new Starship rocket, which will one day take humans to Mars. After clarifying how the first spaceflight for Starship will go, Elon Musk unveiled a launch window.
Asked about Starship on Twitter, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that the company plans to manufacture nearly 40 “flight-capable” Raptor 2 engines by next month. Then you should ” another month to integrate them, so hopefully May for orbital flight testing “. If everything goes as plannedSpaceX therefore hopes to launch its Starship rocket for the month of Mayand this first flight should be followed by a dozen launches in 2022.
Starship, the giant rocket that will take humanity to other planets
SpaceX has a lot of ambition for its Starship rocket, since it is with it that the company intends to colonize other planets, starting with the moon in a few years. As a reminder, NASA had awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to use the Starship to bring astronauts to the lunar surface from Gateway, an agency outpost that would be in orbit around from the moon, or from NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
Elon Musk then plans to deploy a fleet of Starships to create a city on Mars and transport equipment and people there within 10 years. For now, although SpaceX is busy getting its Starship rocket ready for its first orbital flight, this one could be delayed for administrative reasons. Indeed, the orbital test flight must still be approved by the authorities before taking place. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has yet to reveal the results of its environmental assessment before giving the green light to SpaceX.
SpaceX default plan was ~65% of global launch mass to orbit this year. Incremental demand might take that to ~70%, so not a major change. Those numbers don’t count Starship.
Rough math is ~16 tones * 50 launches = 800 tones. Rest of world is <400 tons (mostly China).
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2022