Elon Musk ‘guarantees excitement’ for upcoming spacecraft launch
Speaking on a call with Morgan Stanley on Tuesday, SpaceX founder Elon Musk reiterated his hope that his next-generation space vehicle, Starship, will soon lift off.
“Hopefully in the next month we’ll have our first attempt,” Musk said at the end of an hour-long chat that focused mostly on the serial executive’s recent moves to the top. from Twitter.
The company is making final preparations for the first orbital test flight of Starship, the powerful vehicle NASA has contracted for its Artemis lunar missions and which Musk aims to use to one day send humans to Mars.
It has been more than 18 months since a Starship prototype last left the ground, performing a successful high-altitude flight and landing for the first time in 2021. The upcoming orbital test will not only be the first time Starship aims to reach space, but the first time a huge Super Heavy booster, which is needed to send Starship out of the atmosphere, will take off.
“I’m not saying it will make it into orbit, but I guarantee excitement,” Musk said. “It won’t be boring.”
A handful of high-altitude launches in 2020 and 2021 have seen Starship prototypes crash or explode while trying to land.
Musk’s comments on Tuesday underscored the challenges of launching and landing the new system that will become the most powerful spacecraft in history if successful.
“It’s a very difficult program,” warned the billionaire. “Let’s hope it has a better than 50% chance of reaching orbit.”
Musk added that he thinks there is an 80% chance that Starship will reach orbit this year and that it could be a few years before the program reaches full reuse.
“This is the profound breakthrough that is needed to extend life beyond Earth.”