Elon Musk’s ultimate ambition is to colonise Mars, and Starship is the centrepiece of this endeavour. Moreover, it is intended to be used to take an all-civilian crew, led by billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, to the moon and back. Additionally, Starship is set to be used to launch satellites.
Yesterday Elon Musk’s company SpaceX tested its most powerful ever rocket system, the Super Heavy booster, in preparation for planned civilian trips to the moon. Including an Irish-British artist from north London.
The booster is equipped with 31 Raptor engines, although two of them failed to ignite during the 10-second static test.
The ambitious Starship craft, of which the Super Heavy booster makes up one half, is aiming to make its first orbital flight in the coming weeks.
The test generated a record-setting 17 million pounds of thrust, providing confirmation that the rocket will have enough power to reach orbit. It is yet to be determined if SpaceX will attempt another static fire test before the Falcon Heavy’s inaugural launch from Texas.
Ms Shotwell would have been pleased with the outcome of Thursday’s test at Boca Chica, which is located on the Texas-Mexico border, having declared “the real goal is to not blow up the launchpad”.
Starship, the most powerful rocket system ever built, stands at an impressive 400ft (120m) tall. This two-stage vehicle is the key to Elon Musk’s ambition to colonise Mars.