Elon Musk believes the Starship will enter orbit this year
Elon Musk believes the Starship will enter orbit this year

Elon Musk said he's very confident that his new spacecraft, which will fly to the Moon and Mars, will enter Earth's orbit for the first time this year, despite several technical and organizational hurdles that still have to be overcome.

The founder and CEO of SpaceX speaks to a variety of media and supporters at his company, Starbase, in Boca Chica, Texas.

There was a demo that combined a high-tech spirit party, music videos on the big screens, and a question-and-answer session.

Nine months ago, California's private space program was launched, and for the first time successfully landed a prototype Starship rocket on a test flight after four previous landing attempts ended with explosions.

Elon Musk has acknowledged the difficulties SpaceX has had in developing the Raptor 2 engine for the Super Heavy rocket, the next generation of a reusable launch booster designed to launch the Starship into orbit.

Musk pointed out that there is a problem of melting in the engine thrust chamber due to the high temperatures. But he said, "We are very close to solving this problem.

By next month, the billionaire wants to ramp up production to about seven to eight engines a week. It is also planned to produce a new spacecraft and a new catalyst every month until the end of the year.

"As of this writing, I'm pretty confident we could be in orbit (via Starship) this year," said Musk, who also runs electric car maker Tesla.

Such a schedule represents an ambitious achievement, even for unmanned orbital test flights of heavy swarms and spacecraft.

The kit represents the next step for the current Falcon 9 rocket, which has successfully launched 144 times and landed 106 times.

Elon Musk talks about the future of Starship

The future of the Boca Chica facility is currently undergoing an on-site environmental assessment by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Federal Aviation Authority is expected to decide in the coming weeks whether the planned construction will have a significant impact on the region's environment.

Therefore, more research needs to be done before the expansion of Boca Chica is allowed. Compiling environmental impact data can take years and is often the subject of litigation.

When Musk was asked what he knew about the status of the FAA's review, he replied, "We don't have a lot of ideas on the subject of the FAA." But he added, "We have sort of rough indications that Mars might be approved.

Musk noted that SpaceX has a backup plan for this. He said SpaceX has moved the entire Starship program to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He added that such a move could lead to setbacks of between six and eight months.

SpaceX is still launching what it calls the world's first private lunar mission in 2023. Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa and dozens of artists on board orbit the moon and return to Earth.

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