Elon Musk announced he was “highly confident’ his new SpaceX starship designed for space travel to the moon and Mars will reach the Earth’s orbit for the first time this year, despite a host of regulatory and technical challenges to overcome.
Elon Musk gave SpaceX’s first massive Starship update in years, and during his presentation, the company showed off what a launch with the enormous launch system would look like. The Starship system comprises the Starship spacecraft itself on top of a Super Heavy booster. SpaceX is making it entirely and rapidly reusable to make launches to the moon and mars achievable.
After traveling outside of our planet, the booster will disengage and return to its launch tower, where the tower arms will ideally capture it. The Starship spacecraft will proceed to its destination before traveling back to the Earth.
Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said the Super Heavy booster would spend six minutes in the air overall, two upon ascent and four during the return trip. In the future, the system could be reused as quickly as six to eight hours for three launches a day. The Super Heavy booster reportedly has more than twice the thrust of a Saturn V, the largest rocket to ever travel into space so far. In its current iteration, the booster has 29 Raptor engines, but it can have up to 33 engines in the future.