Photo: Elon Musk with his youngest son X Æ A-Xii.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk participated in a virtual conference with National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (SEM) Space Studies Board representatives on Wednesday, November 17. He shared a link of the video conference, linked below. “My comments starts at 6:49 mark,” he said.
My comments starts at 6:49 mark— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 18, 2021
At the beginning of the conference Musk held his youngest son on his lap, smiling while they watched a short introduction video clip of Starship launches and the Starbase facility. –“Car!” his toddler son X Æ A-Xii said as Starship was transported to the launch pad in the video –“…Rocket on a big car,” Musk replied.
Enjoyed X's commentary 😂— Owen Sparks 🌎 (@OwenSparks_) November 18, 2021
Clearly he wants you to send another car to space, this time a Cybertruck on Starship pic.twitter.com/21vqTcJy1E
During the conference Musk talked about SpaceX’s Starship development program and the progress the company has made. He said they aim to conduct the first orbital flight test in January, after it obtains regulatory approval from the U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Engineers are currently conducting pre-flight tests of the Starship SN20 and Super Heavy Booster 4 prototypes.
“There are currently 29 [Raptor engines] … on the base of the booster we will be expanding that to 33,” he shared, that Super Heavy will have “about 2.2, or 2.3, the thrust of Saturn V… so, it’s the biggest rocket ever, ever designed. We are close to our initial orbital launch. We have done several flights and able to land the vehicle successfully,” he said.
“We’ll do a bunch of tests in December and hopefully launch in January,” Musk said, acknowledging that success on the first orbit attempt is not guaranteed but assured he is confident that the rocket will achieve going to outer space in 2022. He said SpaceX will test many prototypes to develop the spacecraft. “We are aiming to make a great many. Ultimately, I think in order for life to become multiplanetary, we’ll need maybe 1,000 [Star]ships […],” he added. “The overarching goal of SpaceX has been to advance space technology such that humanity can become a multiplanet species and ultimately a space faring civilization. To make truth of the things that we read about in science fiction... and have not always be fiction.” “[…] It’s essential for preserving the light of consciousness,” Musk said, adding that along the way we will learn about the nature of the universe.
At the conference, he also mentioned that SpaceX is working to build a Starship lunar lander for NASA and said that the vehicles will enable the agency to setup a permanent Moon research station. NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to develop a lunar-optimized Starship Human Landing System (HLS) to return astronauts to the Moon under the Artemis program that aims to land the first woman and next man on the lunar surface by 2025. You can watch the recorded National Academies virtual conference in the video below, Elon Musk's discussion begins at the 6 hour 49 minute mark (6:49).
VIDEO: Elon Musk Virtual Conference With National Academies Space Studies Board
Featured Image Source: Elon Musk National Academies Broadcast