The founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, revealed this Tuesday that he intends to launch his fully reusable spacecraft, the Starship, next month, although he expressed caution after the successive postponements.
“We are preparing the first Starship launch”, said the CEO of Tesla and Twitter, adding that he expects this attempt to take place in April.
The billionaire spoke during an interview at a Morgan Stanley event, broadcast on the Internet, where he considered that there is more than a 50% chance of the mission being successful.
Musk explained that the spacecraft “was designed to be the first fully reusable rocket in general”, but that it is “likely” that SpaceX will take “a few more years” to achieve a “complete and rapid reuse” of the spacecraft.
“This is the breakthrough needed to extend life beyond Earth. This reduces the cost of accessing space by an enormous amount. It’s as if planes weren’t reusable. It would be crazy if every time you flew somewhere, you had to take a small plane for the return flight”, he stressed.
The businessman stressed that, if all goes well, this vehicle could allow life to be “multiplanetary” and make “life on Mars real”.
The first manned flight of the new Starship rocket will be particularly scrutinized, having been selected by NASA to be the vehicle that will allow astronauts to return to the surface of the Moon, at the earliest in 2025.
Elon Musk had expectations that Starship would reach space for the first time in 2022, with no one on board to begin with.
However, the schedule for this first test remains suspended until now.
On February 10, SpaceX completed a Starship engine test on the launch pad, with 31 of the 33 engines igniting simultaneously for about 10 seconds over South Texas.