Elon Musk Sees SpaceX’s First Space Flight in Early 2022

SpaceX, the space company of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, will conduct the first test flight to space of its Starship rocket early next year and expects to make multiple launches in 2022.

 

That’s what founder Musk said during a virtual meeting with members of the National Academy of Sciences.

However, the chance of success of the first flight into orbit is relatively low, according to Musk. The company will launch its Starship in January or February and expects to make a dozen test flights to space later in 2022. “It’s the largest rocket ever designed, and we’re close to our first launch,” Musk said.

The stainless steel rocket and super-heavy drives beneath it will be “quickly and completely reusable,” Musk said, calling the combination “the holy grail of rocketry.” In addition, the starship is designed to carry 100 tons of cargo and people into orbit at a fraction of the cost of previous designs.

SpaceX plans to use a modified version of the rocket to land NASA astronauts on the moon in 2025 or later as part of the Artemis program. Ultimately, SpaceX wants to transport hundreds of tons of supplies and people to Mars to help Musk’s goal of building an inhabited city on Mars.

SpaceX has launched the Starship rocket during several test flights to an altitude of about 10 kilometres from the production site in South Texas. Before the spaceflight, the company plans to circle Earth once, then drop the rocket into the Pacific Ocean, about 100 kilometres northwest of Hawaii island of Kauai.

Musk reiterated at the meeting that in his view, humanity needs a second planet, given the risks Earth faces, such as nuclear weapons, great comets, pandemics, declining birth rates, artificial intelligence and religious extremism.

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