SpaceX will provide the latest developments in the development of its Starship spacecraft in about three weeks, according to CEO and founder Elon Musk. Starship is the next generation of fully reusable spacecraft the company is developing to replace all of its launch vehicles, including the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, which are designed to operate between Earth orbit and the moon and eventually Mars.
In recent weeks, SpaceX has assembled several prototypes at its research and development facility in Texas, and Starship has made rapid progress, with the SN6 completing a skydiving test that, like the previous SN5, climbed to 150 meters (less than 500 feet) and then dropped again to control the landing. The SN8 is now preparing for a higher-altitude flight, and Musk joked that in a few weeks’ time, the company will present a “V1.0” prototype that will in effect be the final orbital test vehicle.
SpaceX has a lot to pin on the Starship — including a possible contract for NASA’s manned mission to the moon as part of Artemis’ moon landing program. It is one of three companies selected by the agency to bid on the contracts with Blue Origin’s cross-industry team and Dynetics.
At the same time, Musk said, SpaceX Starlink Internet service could technically be implemented in the Brownsville area of Texas, where the Starship was developed, but it would take about three months for the remote southern part of the United States to truly achieve good connectivity quality.