SpaceX boss Elon Musk says Starship will land people on moon ‘most likely sooner’ than 2024

SpaceX boss Elon Musk sounded optimistic Saturday evening when requested concerning the progress of the corporate’s Starship lunar lander mission for NASA.

The Twitter account “All the things Artemis” requested Musk whether or not he anticipated to have Starship able to land people on the moon by 2024.

“In all probability sooner,” Musk replied simply two minutes later.

Earlier Saturday, CNBC area reporter Michael Sheetz identified that NASA had paid $300 million to SpaceX on July 30 towards Starship, representing the company’s most up-to-date main allocation towards the mission.

MUSK DEFENDS STARSHIP CAPABILITIES AS BLUE ORIGIN CONTINUES TO DISPUTE SPACEX’S NASA MOON LANDER PROJECT

Sheetz’s publish included a hyperlink to the federal USASpending.gov web site, which paperwork authorities spending.

The location claimed that $439.6 million has up to now been paid to SpaceX for what’s thought-about to be a $3 billion mission.

Simply three days earlier, Musk went on Twitter to defend the Starship mission amid complaints from Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin area group that NASA has determined to award only one moon-lander contract for its Human Touchdown System (HLS) program.

Blue Origin, led by billionaire Jeff Bezos, left, would not precisely see eye-to-eye with SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, concerning NASA’s Human Touchdown System (HLS) program.

Blue Origin has asserted that SpaceX acquired preferential therapy in receiving the NASA contract.

“We’re particularly involved with the shortage of flight readiness evaluations in SpaceX’s proposal,” Blue Origin had written in a press release to Fox Enterprise. “SpaceX’s advanced strategy requires 16 consecutive launches with solely three complete flight readiness evaluations as a substitute of 1 for every launch which is in keeping with widespread business observe. Flight readiness evaluations are elementary to security and are particularly necessary with reusable automobiles and a number of launches in fast succession.”

Musk responded to Blue Origin’s assertion a tweet, clarifying that 16 Starship flights is “extraordinarily unlikely.” 

“Starship payload to orbit is ~150 tons , so max of 8 to fill 1200 ton tanks of lunar Starship,” Musk mentioned. “With out flaps & warmth protect, Starship is way lighter. Lunar touchdown legs don’t add a lot (1/6 gravity). Might solely want 1/2 full, ie 4 tanker flights.”

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Nevertheless, he famous that it might not be an issue even when 16 flights had been required.

“SpaceX did greater than 16 orbital flights in first half of 2021 & has docked with Station (a lot tougher than docking with our personal ship) over 20 instances,” Musk added.

Fox Enterprise’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this story.