SpaceX President Says Starship Will Fly ‘Large Numbers Of People’ In 5 Years

Evelyn Arevalo by Evelyn Arevalo April 16, 2021

SpaceX President Says Starship Will Fly ‘Large Numbers Of People’ In 5 Years

Featured Image Source: Starship Render Created By @ErcXspace via Twitter

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell participated at the SpaceTech conference hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics on April 14. During the conference, Shotwell said that the company’s next-generation launch vehicle, Starship, will fly ‘large numbers of people’ in 5 years! Starship is under development to carryout missions with 100 passengers aboard. “Starship is an amazing machine. I could not be more excited about a vehicle than I am about Starship. That is the vehicle that will take people in great numbers to the moon, to Mars,” Shotwell said. SpaceX also plans to use Starship as an alternative for airplanes, for point-to-point transportation around Earth. “I believe we will be flying large numbers of people on Starship in five years,” she said.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and former NASA deputy administrator Dava Newman asked Shotwell if SpaceX would be ready to take astronauts en masse to the Red Planet by 2030 to 2035, to which she responded –“We’re shooting for before 2030. It might end up taking that long, but I hope not.” Shotwell explained she based the timeline on the companies initial goal to fly many people on lunar missions and Earth-to-Earth travel. “You’re flying enough where you hopefully have enough knowledge of the system and knowledge of risk that you can definitely start the journey to Mars within the next five years,” she said. “I recognize… we never make our timelines, so they’re aspirational. But you have to aim high,” Shotwell added. Ultimately, SpaceX's goal is to build 1,000 Starship's over the course of 10 years to colonize Mars.  SpaceX’s first crewed flight will take at least twelve passengers around the moon by 2023. The space tour is booked by Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur who is helping fund the spacecraft’s development. 

The ambitious launch system is still in its initial phase of development. Engineers are currently working on launching a Starship prototype without it exploding upon landing. The vehicle is under development at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility, located in Boca Chica Beach. Multiple Starship prototypes have performed high-altitude flight tests. Teams are rapidly assembling stainless-steel vehicles, and are ready to launch Starship SN15. SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared the stainless-steel vehicle could launch as soon as next week. Starship SN15 has ‘hundreds of design improvements’ that engineers hope will address the issues faced during previous test flights. SpaceX targets to have a space-ready prototype of the launch system by this Summer to conduct the first orbital attempt. To visit space for the first time, Starship will require a giant Super Heavy rocket booster and a massive launch tower that is needed to stack the Starship spacecraft atop Super Heavy. The rocket will propel Starship to space and return to Earth to be reused. The first booster prototype and launch tower are actively under construction. You can watch SpaceX’s Starship progress Live in the video below, courtesy of LabPadre via YouTube.

WATCH IT LIVE!

 

 

 

Featured Image Source: Starship Render Created By @ErcXspace via Twitter

 





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