Tech & Science: Elon Musk says SpaceX Starship could get to orbit within six months - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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Tech & Science Elon Musk says SpaceX Starship could get to orbit within six months

07:25  29 september  2019
07:25  29 september  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Musk promises Starship update after NASA interest

Musk promises Starship update after NASA interest Elon Musk has promised an update on the development of SpaceX's new spacecraft Starship in the next few weeks. His comments follow the completion of a NASA assessment which could see the vehicle take astronauts back to the moon and potentially to Mars. Commenting on Twitter, the SpaceX founder said the update would take place on 24 August from Boca Chica, where the company has been testing a prototype of Starship.

Elon Musk believes humans can and should become an interplanetary species. His new spaceship, he thinks, can help achieve that lofty goal. At the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, Saturday evening, Musk detailed what's next for the Starship rocket that could one day ferry humans to Mars.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk would like his Starship spacecraft to make it to orbit in six months , he said during an evening presentation on September 28. The event seemed aimed squarely at fans, with little new information and a lot of SpaceX history. “This is going to sound totally nuts

a close up of a bowl: Starship might one day take humans out to Saturn. © SpaceX

Starship might one day take humans out to Saturn.

Elon Musk believes humans can and should become an interplanetary species. His new spaceship, he thinks, can help achieve that lofty goal. At the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, Saturday evening, Musk detailed what's next for the Starship rocket that could one day ferry humans to Mars.  

"This is the most inspiring thing that I've ever seen," Musk standing in front of the Starship Mk1 prototype space vehicle. 

After walking through the construction history of SpaceX -- Sept. 28 marks 11 years since SpaceX first made it to orbit -- Musk, decked out in all black, went through some of the Starship specifics he's been tweeting about for months. 

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Elon Musk says SpaceX 's Starship could reach orbit within 2 years. SpaceX executives had previously said the system could launch Starship into orbit sometime in 2020 or 2021, so Musk 's estimate suggest the system's new design has helped the company stay on or ahead of schedule.

Experts say Starship is within the realm of the possible, without requiring impossible physics or unlikely technological leaps. Indeed, Starship employs ideas that were studied decades ago but never built. The biggest innovation is perhaps that SpaceX and Mr. Musk have applied the accelerated

Elon Musk's goal is to establish a city on Mars. SpaceX © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Elon Musk's goal is to establish a city on Mars. SpaceX

What's next for Starship?

The mission to Mars has always been at the forefront of SpaceX's endeavors. Three years ago, Elon Musk outlined his ambitions to get humans to the Red Planet with a beastly two-stage, reusable rocket. The interplanetary craft detailed in that original proposal has now come to life. It's a real, tangible object you can see and touch. But the real challenge begins: getting it to fly.

A prototype vehicle, dubbed Starhopper, has completed two low-altitude flights, or "hops," kitted out with a single Raptor engine. The next milestone is to get the triple-engine prototype Mk1 off the ground, to an altitude of about 12 miles (20 kilometers). A second prototype, Mk2, is being built at the SpaceX facility in Florida. Musk said an Mk3 prototype would begin construction at Boca Chica "in about a month" and could be complete in three months. 

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Elon Musk outlines SpaceX 's Starship plans, aiming to reach orbit in six months and then fly people. Published 3 hours agoUpdated Moments Ago. "Our next flight after that might just be a flight all the way to orbit with the booster and a ship ," Musk said . "We're building Starships as fast as we can

Elon Musk says SpaceX is on track to launch people to Mars within 6 years — here's the full timeline of his plans to populate the red planet. Musk was frustrated that NASA wasn't doing more to get people to the red planet — and concerned that a backup plan for humanity wasn't being developed

"This is going to sound totally nuts but we want to try and reach orbit in less than six months," he said.

Of course, deadlines have slipped before. Musk believes if the current rate of production continues to proceed as quickly as it has been, the orbital vehicle could be a Mk4 or Mk5 prototype. 

a close up of an object © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

Details, details

During Saturday's hour-long, particularly windy press conference, Musk announced that the next test would take place in "about one to two months" before detailing how Starship would control its landing. 

"This is quite a new approach to controlling a rocket," Musk said. "Much more akin to a skydiver than a plane."

Musk laughed as he showed the crowd in Boca Chica how the craft would control the fall, with his hands acting as the ship. Getting into the specifics a little more, Musk explained the importance of a steel heat shield which would only cost a fraction of a carbon fiber heat shield. "I'm in love with steel," Musk said.

SpaceX 'Starhopper' prototype rocket aborts second test flight at last minute

SpaceX 'Starhopper' prototype rocket aborts second test flight at last minute A very early version of Elon Musk's Mars Starship didn't get off the ground as planned Monday. But another attempt could come Tuesday.

The SpaceX founder said in an interview published Thursday that he believes his company's Starship spacecraft could return humans to the surface of the moon just a few years from now. So then maybe within a year or two of that we could be sending crew. I would say four years at the outside."

Elon Musk was visibly excited as he took the stage on Saturday night at SpaceX ’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Musk said that the first flight to orbit could be within 6 months of the first suborbital flight of The orbital version of the Starship will be outfitted with six Raptor engines, but the Mark 1

The steel Starship heat shield that will protect the spacecraft as it comes back to Earth. SpaceX © Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. The steel Starship heat shield that will protect the spacecraft as it comes back to Earth. SpaceX

Super Heavy, the rocket that will boost Starship into orbit, didn't receive quite as much airtime. Musk said it would have about twice as much thrust as the most powerful rocket ever built, NASA's Saturn V, and feature up to 37 Raptor engines.

Musk also detailed plans for Starship "orbital refilling," which would allow fuel to be transferred between spacecraft in orbit. Musk said this process is easier than docking with the International Space Station -- something SpaceX has become quite good at. "This is one of the other critical pieces of the puzzle to establish a base on the moon or Mars," Musk noted. 

Starship's ambitions aren't just the moon or Mars. Musk showed off promo art of a potential future for Starship that would have it head farther out into the solar system. Next destination? Saturn! (Well ... maybe not the next, next destination.)

Musk concluded his presser with a belief he's been championing ever since those initial Starship plans were detailed three years ago.

SpaceX’s Starhopper launch scrubbed at the last possible second

SpaceX’s Starhopper launch scrubbed at the last possible second SpaceX was scheduled to launch its scaled-down Starship test vehicle, Starhopper, on Monday evening. 

Elon Musk got philosophical on Saturday night in the darkness of south Texas, saying that humanity needs to get to Mars Musk said people could potentially fly into orbit on the Starship next year. MK3, the second, full-size version of the rocket system, will reach orbit within six months , Musk said .

On Saturday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk will update the public on the development of its Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle, which the The SpaceX livestream link is at the bottom of this story, and the 2019 SpaceX presentation starts at 7 p.m. Central time. Get up to speed quickly on how this

"I think we should do our very best to become a multi-planet species and we should do it now."

Other SpaceX projects

SpaceX's next-gen rocket and mission to Mars is clearly a huge focus right now, but the company is also working with NASA on the Commercial Crew project, aiming to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil. Ahead of Saturday's press event, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine appeared to throw a little shade SpaceX's way by noting the Commercial Crew project is well behind schedule.

In a post-conference Q&A session, Musk provided a brief response. 

"From a SpaceX resource standpoint, our resources are overwhelmingly on Falcon and Dragon," he said. "It was really quite a small percentage of SpaceX that did Starship."  

Musk did not detail any progress updates to SpaceX's Commercial Crew project, but noted difficulty in the optimization process. A recent explosion during testing of the Dragon crew capsule further delayed SpaceX's ambitions of taking astronauts to the ISS before the end of the year. It now appears the first crewed launch will take place in 2020, with NASA stating future flight dates are under review. 

NASA and Elon Musk make up over astronaut-flying spat .
Musk and NASA chief Jim Bridenstine got on the same page about returning human spaceflight to the US.The US government has not flown humans into orbit since 2011, when the space shuttle was retired, and in 2014 it hired SpaceX and Boeing to build and operate replacement vehicles that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

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