Musk persists and signs: the Starship will be technically ready from July… but not sure that it will take off on that date.
The Starship, this famous new generation space vehicle built by SpaceX which is to become the spearhead of the colonization of the Red Planet, will be ready in a few weeks. In any case, this is what its CEO Elon Musk said bluntly on Twitter.
“Starship will be ready to fly next month”, he certifies, specifying that he was personally present on the site to observe the progress of the work. If this announcement is true, SpaceX will finally be able to move on to the next major phase of its roadmap, namely laying the foundations for the aerospace of the future and the conquest of Mars.
An exciting statement, knowing the importance of this vehicle for the future of space conquest. On the other hand, as often with Musk, the devil is in the details; this statement contains a significant gray area. Indeed, the billionaire specifies that the machine “will be ready“next month… but he in no way asserts that the craft will indeed take off in July. And the distinction is important.
The Starship must first show its green paw
Very recently, the vehicle has actually received an agreement in principle from the US federal administration (see our article). But this document did not immediately pave the way for the Starship. Before officially launching operations, SpaceX must validate a list of around 75 environmental facilities to ensure that this steel monster does not cause a small ecological disaster on a local scale.
At this time, SpaceX has not specified how long it will need to complete these arrangements. It is entirely possible that it will take well over a month. Even if the Starship will therefore technically be “ready to fly” on this date, it is not guaranteed that it has already ticked all the boxes of these specifications. If necessary, the machine would therefore find itself nailed to the ground until all the lights are on… green.
For the first time ever, there is a rocket capable of establishing permanent bases on the moon and Mars
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 14, 2022
This time is the right one?
And the involvement of the air policeman of aeronautics which encourages caution. As every time Elon Musk mentions a specific deadline, this one should be taken with a grain of salt; the billionaire already has a heavy liability when it comes to announcing very ambitious, not to say extravagant, deadlines.
As of late, signals from SpaceX as to the program’s progress seemed broadly very positive. It is therefore not excluded that this deadline is realistic. But it will be more prudent to wait until the device has finally left the launch pad to get to the bottom of it.
And this is even more true for the following steps. Because Musk’s short-term plans do not stop at a single copy of the Starship, far from it. He took the opportunity to announce that a second Starship would come out of the workshop as soon as august next… and again a month later, with a third copy which should be “ready to fly” in September.
We will have a second Starship stack ready to fly in August and then monthly thereafter
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 14, 2022
SpaceX about to write history
Despite these contentious points, there is one element that seems indisputable: the arrival of this colossus is now imminent, after years of characterized industrial galley. And if the development was so long and complicated, it is because it is quite simply the most ambitious space vehicle ever built.
So the whole industry is holding its breath waiting for the inauguration of what Elon Musk describes as the first “rocket capable of establishing permanent bases on the Moon and Mars”. It will therefore be interesting to watch for announcements from SpaceX, because the announcement of the finalization of the Starship could fall at any minute.
But above all, it will be necessary to follow the progress of these famous environmental developments with very particular attention; once completed, the Starship will finally be able to obtain the precious final license, with the promise of opening a new chapter in aerospace.