Friday 18 October 2019

Launchpad: Musk aims high in bids to reach Moon and Mars

Rocketing ahead: A prototype of SpaceX’s Starship at the company HQ in Boca Chica near Brownsville, Texas. Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images
Rocketing ahead: A prototype of SpaceX’s Starship at the company HQ in Boca Chica near Brownsville, Texas. Photo: Loren Elliott/Getty Images

Joey Roulette

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has unveiled the latest version of his space company's Starship, outlining a speedy timeline for the centrepiece vehicle of SpaceX's quest to launch humans to the Moon and Mars.

Mr Musk showed a crowd of space enthusiasts and reporters at SpaceX's rocket development site in the remote village of Boca Chica, Texas, and animations of Starship landing on the Moon and Mars.

He predicted the rocket's first orbital flight could come in the next six months, followed by human missions to space in the next year.

"This is basically the holy grail of space," Mr Musk said, standing between a towering, newly assembled Starship rocket and Falcon 1 - the company's first vehicle whose debut orbital mission was celebrated by SpaceX 11 years ago.

"The critical breakthrough that's needed for us to become a space-faring civilisation is to make space travel like air travel," said Mr Musk, also the chief executive of electric carmaker Tesla Inc.

Irish Independent

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