Space company SpaceX owned by billionaire Elon Musk is approaching a major milestone in the development of its Starship rocket. The billionaire CEO today announced that the company will have a “ready-to-fly” prototype Starship rocket by July, with his space venture aiming to reach orbit with the vehicle for the first time.
The company is currently working to meet its environmental impact requirements, as noted this week by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The company previously hoped to complete the Starship’s orbital flight test as early as last summer, but delays in development progress and regulatory approval have steadily pushed that schedule back.
The FAA made a crucial environmental decision on Monday that concluded a long-awaited assessment of the program. SpaceX would need to complete more than 75 of the agency’s actions before applying for the launch license required for the flight test.
Musk said in a series of tweets that he spent time at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas on Monday night “reviewing the progress” of the rocket. He added that the company “will have a second flight-ready Starship stack in August” and aims to conduct “monthly flights thereafter.”
The company is developing its nearly 400-foot-tall reusable Starship rocket with the goal of transporting goods and people beyond Earth. The rocket and its Super Heavy booster are powered by SpaceX’s Raptor series of engines. SpaceX has conducted several high-altitude flight tests with Starship prototypes, but it has yet to reach space.
What you need to know about SpaceX
- Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and revolutionizing the aerospace industry.
- Musk initially funded SpaceX with his own money, but after he gained enough experience, he was able to get millions of dollars from NASA to build his rockets and spacecraft, as well as deliver cargo to the Station. international space.
- The Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, as well as several rocket engines, the Dragon freighter, the crew spacecraft and the Starlink communications satellites, are all made by SpaceX.
- Space X was the first private company to launch and return a spacecraft from Earth orbit, as well as the first to launch and dock a crewed spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
- In the commercial rocket business, the company competes with former Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin and billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.
- Civilians have been successfully launched into space by all three rocket companies. Morgan Stanley estimates that the space economy will reach $1 trillion by 2040.