We all know that NASA has launched astronauts into space for the first time barely a week ago but SpaceX CEO and co-founder ELON MUSK says that after accomplishing its first human launch, the company’s primary focus is going forward will be developing STARSHIP, it’s next-generation spacecraft.
According to CNBC, Musk sent a company-wide email in which he told employees that accelerating progress “dramatically and immediately” on Starship should be their “top priority”. He said, adding that “Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that can reduce dragon return risk) to be Starship”.
At a SpaceX production and testing site in Boca Chica, Texas, since 2019, the Starship has been in development and was originally being developed by a second team in parallel in Florida. Moreover, the Starship is a rocket that’s supposed to be able to carry 100 passengers and cargo into space, including to the Moon and Mars. Like other SpaceX developments, it is designed to be reusable (spacecraft have traditionally been one-time use objects). However, the development of the starship has met with a number of challenges. After early successful testing of the Raptor engine that will power it, using a subscale prototype called the “Starhopper.” SpaceX is now assembling SN5 the fifth prototype of a starship, to continue its testing-even while SN6 and SN7 are also under construction.
In the company email, Elon musk told employees that they should consider spending more time SpaceX’s Texas facility, where the Starship is being developed, instead of in SpaceX’s California Offices. Now that SpaceX has begun to fulfill its promise to put the falcon rocket series to work for NASA astronauts, Musk is apparently turning his attention back to Starship.
Lastly, the company now has a bit more time pressure driving Starship’s development, since it was selected as one of three suppliers for NASA’s human lunar lander contracts, with Starship intended to act as a last-mile transportation system for talking astronauts from NASA’s Lunar Gateway to the surface of the moon.