Musk promises Starship update after NASA interest

Elon Musk has promised an update on the development of SpaceX’s new spacecraft Starship in the next few weeks.

His comments follow the completion of a NASA assessment which could see the vehicle take astronauts back to the moon and potentially to Mars.

Commenting on Twitter, the SpaceX founder said the update would take place on 24 August from Boca Chica, where the company has been testing a prototype of Starship.

The picture of SpaceX's new rocket Starship. Pic: Elon Musk
Image: The picture of SpaceX’s new rocket Starship. Pic: Elon Musk

He said the announcement would include a “detailed review of the first orbital Starship, explaining the pros & cons of each design decision”.

It follows a draft environmental assessment for Starship – which is the crew-module and upper stage of the new spacecraft – and the Super Heavy launch vehicle taking off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

The assessment said that SpaceX would be required to build additional infrastructure near to the landing facility for the reusable rocket in Cape Canaveral.

It also confirmed that SpaceX intends to eventually launch the Starship and Super Heavy vehicle approximately 24 times per year, including lunar and Mars missions, as well as satellite and human space missions.

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It was completed after Mr Musk claimed it would be easier for his company to just land on the moon than try to convince NASA it is up to the task.

Starship is the company’s new spacecraft, which at the moment is only completing sub-orbital flights or “hops” – racing high into the atmosphere before landing back on Earth.

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NASA will put a woman on the moon by 2024

The orbital version will work in conjunction with SpaceX’s new rocket booster called the Super Heavy.

This configuration is also taller, has thicker skins which will not wrinkle when exposed to the pressure of orbital flight, and also has a smoothly curving nose section.

The spacecraft has been troubled this year, with a prototype being toppled and damaged by high winds in Texas back in January.

A blaze at the experimental facility in California earlier this month caused up to $100,000 (£80,000) damage to equipment and infrastructure.

Marking the 50th anniversary since the Apollo 11 mission in which humans first stepped onto the moon, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine told Sky News the agency planned to send a woman to the moon in 2024.

Source: SKY NEWS

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