SpaceX founder Elon Musk was a guest speaker at the Morgan Stanley 2023 Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) conference on March 7th. He mostly discussed the reason why he acquired Twitter and how his team is working to improve the social media platform. Musk said he hopes that Twitter can become “the place where you find truth with the least amount of error.” You can listen to the full interview in the video linked below.
During the interview, he shared his hopes for SpaceX’s upcoming debut Starship orbital flight test. “We are getting ready for the first launch of Starship, this is a very difficult program,” says Musk, “The rocket is roughly two-and-a-half times the thrust of the Saturn V, so if or when it reaches orbit it’ll be by far the largest rocket to reach orbit. But more importantly it is designed to be the first fully-reusable rocket ever,” he said. “The key to expanding life beyond Earth is a fully and rapidly reusable orbital rocket. This is a very hard problem given the constraints … Earth has a thick atmosphere and strong gravity, it is only barely possible to do this, that is why it has not been done before,” he explained.
“We are getting close to our first orbital launch attempt of Starship, hopefully in the next month or so we will have our first attempt,” he shared. “I am not saying it will get to orbit but I am guaranteeing excitement,” said Musk and the audience laughed –“So, it won’t be boring,” he jokingly added. “I think, I don't know, hopefully above a 50 percent chance of reaching orbit.” SpaceX is still pending a spaceflight license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to liftoff from Boca Chica Beach, Texas, and land in the ocean off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.
“We’ve got a whole series of Starships in South Texas, so I think we’ve got… hopefully about an 80 percent chance of reaching orbit this year. It will probably take us a couple more years to achieve a full and rapid reusability which I can’t emphasize enough – it is the profound breakthrough that is needed to extend life beyond Earth because it lowers the cost of access to space by orders of magnitude,” said Musk. “In the same way that, let’s say, there were no airplanes that were reusable, how expensive would air flight be? It would be insane,” he explained, “You’ll have to buy a new airplane every time you flew somewhere… You’ll have to tow a small airplane behind you for the return flight… that’s just not good at scale.” Musk ended the Morgan Stanley interview by stating that Starship could make life multiplanetary real by expanding life to Mars. “I sort of wonder… if we are able to get to be multiplanetary that will be a forcing function to ultimately improving spaceflight to become multi-stellar – to go to other star systems. And I think we may discover that there are many long dead one-planet civilizations, we don't want to be one of those,” said Musk, “We don't want to be one of those lame one-planet civilizations, please!” he joked.
VIDEO: Elon Musk Interview at the Morgan Stanley 2023 TMT Conference
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Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.