Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

SpaceX’s Starship is solution to efficient space travel


CAMERON COUNTY, Texas — Standing under the towering profile of SpaceX’s next-generation Starship rocket, CEO Elon Musk on Thursday gave his pitch for building a vehicle that he believes represents the “holy grail” of space travel.

“This is really some wild stuff here,” Musk said, speaking to a crowd of employees, guests and media. “In fact, hard to believe it’s real — except you, know, it’s right there.”

The past year saw a historic breakthrough in private human spaceflight for multiple companies, including SpaceX, but the perception of billionaires joyriding in rockets drew widespread public derision. Musk opened his presentation with a defense on the value of space transportation, calling it necessary for “establishing security for life itself and having an exciting future and inspiring kids about the future.”

“One of the rebuttals I will sometimes hear is … what about all the problems on Earth?” Musk said.

“I completely agree that the vast majority of resources should be dedicated to solving problems on Earth,” Musk continued. He said “more than 99% of our resources” should be focused on terrestrial challenges but “maybe half a percent” should be space-focused.

Starship is the nearly 400-foot tall rocket that SpaceX has been developing, with the goal of creating a vehicle that can carry cargo and groups of people beyond Earth.

Starship prototype 20 stacked on top of Super Heavy booster 4 at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas.


Musk presented the rocket as crucial to establishing a human presence on other planetary bodies, such as the moon and Mars. Further advocating against the idea that space travel is frivolous, Musk declared that traveling to Mars is “far from being some sort of escape hatch,” as “it will be extremely difficult and dangerous and tough.”

Public support for the development of Starship may seem unnecessary, yet it is crucial to the future Musk envisions for SpaceX. While the private venture raises billions from investors, SpaceX has won several taxpayer-funded contracts for Starship and the company needs approval from federal regulators to launch in earnest from its facility on the southernmost part of Texas’ Gulf Coast.

“Objectively, the cost efficiency of SpaceX is the best in history, I think, for any rocket development,” Musk said. “We are talking about a rocket that’s more than twice the mass and thrust of a Saturn V,” the rocket that launched the Apollo moon missions, “and is also designed to be fully reusable … for a development cost that is, I don’t know, between 5[%] and 10% of the Saturn V.”

“From an environmental standpoint,” Musk added, “obviously it is also much better” to build a “fully reusable” vehicle, since rockets are traditionally discarded after each launch.

‘Less than $10 million’ per launch

SpaceX has steadily brought down the cost of its current fleet of Falcon 9 rockets to below $30 million per launch, by landing the most expensive part of the rocket and reusing it multiple times. But,…


Read More: SpaceX’s Starship is solution to efficient space travel