The human race has only ever known planet Earth as its home, and the possibility of life outside its boundaries has always been a subject that piqued interest. Although talks about life on planets, such as Mars, have been going on for a few years, human existence doesn’t seem to extend beyond Earth. But CEO of SpaceX , Elon Musk, will stop at nothing to pave the way for life on the Red Planet using Starship.
Starship: The New SpaceX Vehicle
A month ago, at Boca Chica, Texas -- one of SpaceX’s launching facilities, Musk presented a giant prototype of the next generation rocket that is meant to fly hundreds of passengers to destinations like the Moon and Mars.
Starship -- the newest addition to the SpaceX family, is said to land on the moon and stage cargo there by the year 2022, thus providing resources for the hundreds of people that are ultimately going to follow by the year 2024.
According to The Verge, the prototype known as Mark 1 has three of SpaceX’s next generation raptor engines attached to its base and towers overs 165 feet (50 meters). The raptor engines are set to fly the prototype rocket at a high altitude, whereby once the high-altitude testing is completed, orbital testing will follow and soon after that, manned test flights will take place. Musk also shared that the prototype will be using a technique called propulsive landing, one that is used by SpaceX’s current operational rockets.
The first flight of the Mark1 Starship is set to take off in one to two months, launching from Texas to reach a maximum altitude of 12 miles in a suborbital trajectory. Although several testings are scheduled, Musk explained that Starship could fly as soon as six months from the Mark1 launch granted all operations work according to schedule.
As mentioned on SpaceX’s website, the final Starship vehicle will be “a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond”.
Starship vs. NASA
According to Musk, Starship is set to be the most powerful vehicle ever developed due to its unique ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tons to Earth orbit.
While the Mark1 prototype will do its first suborbital flights with just three raptor engines, the final Starship vehicle will sit atop a Super Heavy rocket booster consisting of thirty-seven raptor engines, enabling Starship to be one of the most powerful rocket engines to be made. Not only that, but this will produce twice the thrust of NASA’s Saturn V rocket, the rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon, which is perceived as both the largest and most powerful rocket.
Wired even says that this advancement permits Starship to dethrone the NASA Saturn V. Furthermore, Digital Trends believes that the company may even beat NASA to the moon for its planned 2024 Artemis mission.
Despite Starship still being in the testing phases, Musk already sold seats on the spacecraft for a trip around the moon, Now, we don’t know about you, but we are starting to see that life outside of planet Earth may be possible after all, especially when Elon Musk is the one working on it to happen.