(Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has unveiled the latest iteration of his space company's newly minted space star, which describes a fast-paced timeframe for the development of a central vehicle from Spacex's quest to launch people to the moon and Mars.
A prototype of SpaceX's Starship spacecraft is seen before SpaceX's Eleon Musk launches an Mars rocket update to the Starship Company in Boca Wire, Texas, on September 28, 2019. REUTERS / Callaghan O & # 39; Hare
Musk showed a crowd of space enthusiasts and reporters on the Spacex rocket development site late Saturday in the remote village of Boca Jamaica, Texas. Starsip animations landed on the Moon and Mars and predicted the first orbital flight could land six months, followed by space missions with humans over the next year.
"This is in essence gravitational to space," Musk said, standing between the obscure and newly collected Rocket Station and Falcon 1 rocket – the company's first vehicle whose debut orbital mission celebrated SpaceX 11 years ago.
"The critical step forward that we need in order to become a space civilization is to make space travel as air travel," said Musk, who is also chief executive of auto maker Tesla AD (TSLA.O)
The star, a shiny steel rocket designed to carry dozens of people to the Moon and Mars, is the first half of the colossal 387-foot (118 meters) high-velocity interplanetary rocket launcher, as the latest addition to SpaceX's launch vehicle launch range used once. Musk has appointed Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as the first private traveler in StarSpie in 2018.
The village of Boca Cica, a few miles north of the border with Mexico, is a zero-sum for a three-year Spicex Starter Testing Experiment, whose rocket-propelled tests have struck the nerve of residents living in remote areas for about two miles. . away
"I think the real danger for the village of Boka Cica is small, but not small," Musk said during a question and answer session. "So it will probably be better over time to buy the villages, and we have made an offer for that purpose."
Some residents have rejected SpaceX's non-negotiable bid to buy their homes three times the market value.
A rocket prototype rocket named Starhopper launched the test twice since July in the village, recently flying 500 meters (152 meters) and landing on an adjacent concrete slab to test the next generation Musk rocket called the Raptor.
Musk's mission to the moon was aligned with NASA's goal of sending people there by 2024 under its Artemis program, an accelerated deep-space initiative launched by the Trump administration in March that aims to work with a small number of Americans. space companies in building a long-term presence on the lunar surface before finally colonizing Mars.
The space agency has selected SpaceX to learn how to land vehicles on the lunar surface and help develop a rocket-fueled refueling system – such as "spacecraft" – in space, "an important technology to aid ongoing research efforts on the Moon and Mars." ", NASA said in a statement on Friday.
NASA awards SpaceX and Boeing Co (BAN) a total of $ 6.8 billion to build competitive rocket and capsule systems to launch astronauts into orbit from US soil for the first time since 2011. The development of the two astronaut capsules has been covered by delays and crash testing.
"I look forward to announcing SpaceX tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Commercial crew is several years behind schedule, "NASA Administrator Jimen Bridenstein said in a statement Friday night. "NASA expects to see the same level of enthusiasm for US taxpayer investment. It is time to deliver ”
Reporting by Eyo Roulette in Washington; Editing by Lisa Schumacher