SpaceX, President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, gave a brief series of interviews with space companies at this year's International Astronautical Congress, providing insights into their company's current missionary spacecraft spacecraft mission. Starship which is currently being developed in parallel by SpaceX at its locations in South Texas and Florida, is said to be a universal successor and replacement for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, with a higher payload and the ability to reach the Moon and eventually Mars.
"Aspirational, we want to put the spacecraft into orbit within a year," said Shotwell. "We definitely want to land it on the moon by 2022. We want to stage cargo […] there to make sure there are resources for the people who eventually end up on the moon by 2024 when things are going well. So that's the endeavor timeframe. "
This is an ambitious timeframe, and as Shotwell himself repeatedly said, these are" ambitious "timeframes. In the aerospace and engineering industries, it is not unusual for executives to set aggressive agendas to push teams working on projects to the limit of what is actually feasible. Elton Musk, CEO of SpaceX is also known to work on schedules that often do not agree with reality, and Shotwell pointed to Musk's ambitious goal as a virtue in another part of her stage interview at the IAC.
It'll never get into orbit, you'll Never put a real rocket into orbit […] you'll never get into orbit hard, you'll never bring dragons to the station, you'll never get dragons back and you'll never land a rocket & # 39 ;, "said she. "Honestly, I think it's great when people say we can not do that because that motivates my awesome 6,500 employees."
SpaceX has already talked about its goal of launching its first Starship orbiting test in orbit like a year. So far, the company has built and tested a so-called Star Hopper demonstration vehicle consisting solely of the base of the vehicle and one of the Raptor engines it will use for its new Starship launch system and Super Heavy booster. Following successful low-altitude flights with this vehicle, SpaceX assembled the Mk1 and Mk2 Starship test vehicles, which represent the full scale of the ultimate spacecraft and are built by teams at Boca Chica and Cape Canaveral, respectively. These will test at high altitude before SpaceX builds additional prototypes for orbital and ultimately human test flights.
SpaceX has already been signed by Intuitive Machines and ispace. Both companies are collaborating with NASA to deliver payloads to the Moon prior to its 2024 human moon landing in the Artemis program, but all of these payload missions specify the use of Falcon 9 to deliver their payloads.