On Thursday night, Elon Musk provided an update on SpaceX’s plans to create its interplanetary Starship rocket, but he stopped short of announcing a precise launch date for an orbital test or further flights. Addressing an audience at the company’s Starbase facility near Boca Chica, Texas, the entrepreneur simply stated, “I am really optimistic that we will reach orbit this year”. Musk was speaking against the backdrop of the spaceship in its fully-stacked form, which stands 394 feet (120 metres) tall with a matte black upper-stage atop a gleaming silver Super Heavy first-stage rocket.
SpaceX envisions the ship delivering passengers and cargo to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, and NASA gave the firm a contract last year for a version of Starship to take Artemis humans from lunar orbit to the surface. The address was sprinkled with dry comedy, such as his “sales pitch” for Mars: “It’s going to be tight, hazardous, tough, very hard work, you could die” – but he wants to terraform the Red Planet in the future. Each Starship rocket will have 33 Raptors, and a manufacturing bottleneck is anticipated to alleviate in the coming weeks, with as much as one engine made every day by next month, according to Musk. In a December announcement, the FAA stated that a report will be delivered by February 28. Last May, SpaceX successfully landed the spaceship after a series of experiments that resulted in spectacular explosions.