SpaceX’s Starship Rocket Is Now Company’s Top Priority
June 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told company employees in an email on June 6 that the Starship rocket is now the company’s number-one priority, Michael Sheetz reported for CNBC. Just one week after the successful launch of U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station, Musk wants employees to focus on developing SpaceX’s next-generation rocket, according to an email seen by CNBC. The Starship is being designed to be fully reusable and carry as many as 100 people at a time on each launch on missions to the Moon and Mars.
Musk wants the employees to accelerate progress on its Starship “dramatically and immediately,” he wrote: “Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship.” The Dragon mission is ongoing, Musk said, with the spacecraft set to return the astronauts to Earth in the next few months.
The Falcon 9 rocket that launched the astronauts is the anchor of SpaceX’s business, with 85 missions over the last 10 years. However, Starship represents the company’s aim to make obsolete even the cost-saving advances of its Falcon 9 fleet, CNBC reports. The Falcon 9 rockets are partially reusable, as the company often lands the larger “booster” stage of the rocket and recovers the rocket’s nosecone. Musk’s goal is to make Starship fully reusable, like a commercial airplane, with short turnaround times between flights.
SpaceX continues to build up its facility in Boca Chica, Texas along the Gulf of Mexico at the southernmost part of the U.S. and Mexico border in Texas. Musk asked SpaceX employees to “consider spending significant time” in Boca Chica to further accelerate Starship development. To encourage employees, Musk wrote, “For those considering moving, we will always offer a dedicated SpaceX aircraft to shuttle people.”