On Thursday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk provided an update about the next-generation rocket Starship.
The billionaire founder said that he was highly confident that the Starship would reach Earth’s orbit this year.
This projection is despite the host of technical and regulatory hurdles that the company needs to overcome.
Correspondingly, the statement came nine months after the private California-based space venture achieved its first successful launch.
The touchdown of a Starship prototype rocket in a test flight happened after four landing attempts ended in explosions.
Musk addressed these difficulties in developing the “Raptor 2” engines for its Super Heavy booster.
Subsequently, he noted problems like melting inside the thruster chambers of the engines due to intense heat.
Nevertheless, Musk ensured that the aerospace company could solve the said conflicts.
At the same time, the rocket’s reusability reflects significant cost reductions in sending payloads to orbit.
SpaceX expects to ramp up production to about seven or eight of the engines a week by next month.
In addition, it will produce a new Starship and a booster every month by year’s end, mirroring an ambitious feat.
In the past years, SpaceX has launched a series of test flights of the top part of the spacecraft designed to go to orbit and return.
SpaceX started the development of the Starship rocket two years ago, specifically designed for the moon and Mars voyages.
Accordingly, the firm began building prototypes both in Florida and Texas. Then, it pivoted to focus at the Starbase facility located in the Boca Chica site, Texas.
In May 2021, SpaceX achieved the first successful touchdown of its prototype Starship rocket. Since then, the firm has sincerely worked toward reaching outer space.
However, the orbital flight test still needs a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license. The company expects to complete the critical environmental assessment by February 28.
Furthermore, SpaceX intends to fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa around the moon and return to Earth. This venture will be the world’s first private lunar mission.
SpaceX has generated billions in funding over the previous years, with the company’s market cap recently hitting $100.00 billion.
It also inked a $2.90 billion contract from NASA to use Starship. The firm will deliver astronauts to the moon by 2025 under the government agency’s Artemis program.