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Elon Musk struggles to hide the difficulties facing his Starship spacecraft

Elon Musk struggles to hide the difficulties facing his Starship spacecraft

The SpaceX chief held a review press conference last weekend about the progress of his spacecraft from his space base in Boca Chica.

Elon Musk has been excited and unyielding about the need to colonize Mars, with an impressive video in support detailing how the launch could go.

But before an astronaut sets foot on the Red Planet, he must succeed in the Starship’s first orbital flight, which is still supposed to take place this year, according to Elon Musk. A firm date was expected, but the deadline remains ambiguous. And for good reason, there are still technical and administrative hurdles.

Intensify the production of motors

Starting with the development of the second generation of Raptor engines. It should eventually be 33 per launcher and nine per ship. The challenge is managing their production quickly enough to warrant several flights per month. At the end of last year, Elon Musk already mentioned the risks of bankruptcy of his company due to the low rate of production.

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This is not the only concern. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet given the green light for the orbital flight for environmental reasons. “We’ve had some sort of rough indication that there might be approval in March.”Musk said. If not, SpaceX will attempt to launch the Starship from Cape Canaveral, but it must build a launch tower for it and this move will cause a delay of six to eight months.

Finally, there is a risk that SpaceX will be inundated with all of its projects. In addition to invading Mars, the spacecraft should serve NASA’s Artemis mission in the shorter term to carry astronauts to the Moon with a lunar landing scheduled for 2025. I don’t think there’s really a struggle there. We’re going to build a lot of ships, a lot of reinforcements, and obviously a lot of engines.”Try to reassure the businessman.

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Resources: SpaceXAnd New York times