HomeSpace FlightStarship and Super Heavy: SpaceX's deep-space transportation for the moon and Mars

Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX’s deep-space transportation for the moon and Mars

Although SpaceX’s latest spacecraft system hasn’t made an orbital flight yet, the company has ambitious plans to fly the spacecraft through the solar system.

Starship and Super Heavy are the biggest, most important pieces of Elon Musk’s grand plan for SpaceX, his private spaceflight company. SpaceX’s short-term aims are to supply cargo and astronauts for the International Space Station; provide transportation and seats for private customers, like Axiom Space or billionaire Jared Isaacman’s Inspiration4; and fly Starlink satellites and payloads for other customers aboard its Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rockets. But the revenues flowing in from these projects are raising funds for Musk’s larger goal of moving deep into space.

Musk has repeatedly stressed that he founded SpaceX back in 2002 primarily to help humanity colonize Mars. It’s vital that we become a multiplanet species, the billionaire entrepreneur has said, citing both a much-reduced probability of extinction and the thrill that meaningful space exploration will deliver to billions of people around the world. Critics say we should instead be focusing on climate change and other issues on Earth

In photos: SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy rocket

SpaceX is now actively trying to turn this sci-fi dream into reality. The company is developing a 100-passenger spaceship called Starship and a giant rocket known as Super Heavy, which together constitutes the transportation system that Musk thinks will bring Mars settlement within reach at long last.

“This is the fastest path to a self-sustaining city on Mars (opens in new tab),” Musk said in September 2019 during a webcast update about the Starship-Super Heavy architecture.

While the spaceship has yet to achieve orbit, it has already attracted lucrative contracts from Isaacman’s Polaris Program, Japanese venture dearMoon to fly eight artists and a billionaire around the moon, seats for billionaire Dennis Tito and wife Akiko on another moon mission, and at least two landing missions for NASA’s Artemis moon program

This SpaceX concept shows the company’s massive Starship vehicle on the moon as a lunar lander for NASA Artemis astronauts.  (Image credit: SpaceX)

(opens in new tab)

The original vision

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular

Recent Comments