Thursday, 14 November, 2019

Elon Musk unveils new Mars rocket prototype, expects missions in months

Elon Musk presents Starship to the world					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner			@MikeWehner					September 30th 2019 at 5:06 PM					 Share Tweet Elon Musk presents Starship to the world Mike Wehner @MikeWehner September 30th 2019 at 5:06 PM Share Tweet
Sandra Phillips | 02 October, 2019, 03:26

Jorge Villalba/iStock (BOCA CHICA, Texas) - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared his vision for a future of commercial space travel with the latest updates on the company's new Starship spacecraft, which he hopes will soon carry humans to the moon and Mars.

He predicted the rocket's first orbital flight could come in the next six months, followed by human missions to space in the next year.

Starship is SpaceX's next-generation spacecraft which is meant to be capable of carrying humans and cargo into the Earth's orbit, the Moon, and eventually Mars.

And the expense.' However, at the SpaceX launch pad in Texas on Saturday, Musk told a crowd: 'We need to make space travel like air travel'.

The prototype rocket is a beast, standing some 50 metres high, and was in the background as Musk addressed press, local VIPs and staff.

Musk laid out a rapid timetable, sped up from his earlier projections and faster than any major space endeavor in memory. "I suppose we should always do our easiest to become a multi-planetary species and extend consciousness on the far side Earth, and we should do it now".

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The 118-meter-tall, completely reusable Starship will provide affordable delivery of significant quantities of cargo and people, essential for building moon bases and Mars cities.

Over the years, both supporters and critics have acknowledged Mr. Musk's time lines often are intended more as tools to push employees and managers than firm or reliable deadlines. In the decade since, the company has been steadily launching satellites to orbit and delivering cargo to the International Space Station, and is on the verge of transporting NASA's astronauts to the space station (delays on that front prompted agency Administrator Jim Bridenstine to put out his own gently scolding statement a day before Musk's much-anticipated talk).

"This is quite a new approach to controlling a rocket", Musk said on Saturday.

Musk livestreamed the official unveiling of the spacecraft and said that the space venture's Starship is expected to take off for the first time in about one or two months and reach 65,000 feet before landing back on Earth.

On top of being monumentally tall, Starship will also be monumentally heavy. "I think we could potentially see people flying next year", he said. Last September, Musk revealed that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa booked the first trip aboard Starship-a jaunt around the moon scheduled to occur sometime in 2023. "With air travel, when you fly a plane, you fly it many times", he said.

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