11 Feb 2022
SpaceX Chief Elon Musk 'Highly Confident' his Starship will reach Orbit this Year
The Index Today
Elon Musk said to Reuters on Thursday that he was "highly confident" his new SpaceX Starship, designed for voyages to the moon and Mars, will reach Earth orbit for the first time this year, despite a host of technical and regulatory hurdles yet to be overcome.
The billionaire SpaceX founder and CEO addressed a throng of news media and supporters at his company's "Starbase" facility in Boca Chica, Texas, for a presentation that combined a high-tech pep rally with big-screen videos and a question-and-answer session.
It came nine months after the private California-based space venture achieved the first successful launch and touchdown of a Starship prototype rocket in a test-flight after four previous landing attempts ended in explosions.
"I feel at this point highly confident that we will get to orbit (with the Starship) this year," said Musk, who also heads electric car maker Tesla .
Such a time frame would mark an ambitious feat, even for an uncrewed orbital test flight of the Super Heavy/Starship combo, the next step up from SpaceX's current workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which Musk said has flown 144 successful launches and 106 return landings.