US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — SpaceX just a week ago carried out the first ever private manned launch into space, but CEO Elon Musk does not want the company to rest on its laurels.
Instead, Musk encouraged SpaceX employees to speed up work on the new-generation Starship spaceship. He wrote about this in a corporate email with which he familiarized himself with CNBC.
Musk noted that employees should consider Starship development a top priority. An exception can only be considered tasks associated with everything that can reduce the risks of the return of Dragon. The spacecraft should return astronauts to Earth in the next couple of months.
Rocket Falcon 9, which recently launched with astronauts on board, is the core business of SpaceX, which has performed 85 flights over the past decade. The Falcon 9 is partially reusable, as the company often lands a large “booster” rocket first stage and restores the bow. But the goal of the Mask is to make a fully reusable Starship, which, like a commercial aircraft, could fly with a short break between launches.
In September last year, Elon Musk assured that the Starship spacecraft should enter low Earth orbit in six months, and subsequently fly to Mars. In total, Musk plans about 10 unmanned test flights to orbit and then with people: he claims to try to do this already in 2020. Apparently, some adjustments were made to the plans, since so far the prototypes of the spaceship explode in tests.
Last year, Musk introduced a prototype starship built in stainless steel. The length of the ship is 50 meters, dry weight (excluding fuel and cargo) is about 120 tons. Starship was supposed to land nozzles to a hard surface. Elon Musk said that in the next ten years, SpaceX plans to build a thousand Starship spaceships.
According to the six-page spacecraft manual, the “basic reusable design” of the system will be able to put more than 100 metric tons into low Earth orbit, and 21 metric tons into geostationary transfer orbit. By transferring rocket fuel into orbit, SpaceX claims that a spaceship can bring more than 100 metric tons to the surface of the Moon or Mars.
The crew version of the ship, according to the manual, can accommodate up to 100 people with “cabins, large common areas, a central storage, shelters from solar storms and a viewing platform.” SpaceX plans to launch starships both from the launch complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, and from its Boc Chick training ground in Texas. The manual, however, did not propose a schedule for the commencement of such flights, nor did the estimated prices.
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