SpaceX CEO and Founder Elon Musk recently stated that he is “highly confident” with his SpaceX Starship project. It is designed for explorations to Mars and the moon. SpaceX Starship has faced regulatory and technical challenges but it will finally reach the Earth’s orbit in 2022.
Musk and the SpaceX team conducted a presentation in Boca Chica, Texas with videos, a pep rally, and a Q & A session. The billionaire pointed out the hurdles they encountered in the development of Raptor 2 engines for its rocket. It is a reusable launch booster to help the Starship reach orbit. One of the issues they faced was the melting that occurred inside the engines’ thrust chambers due to high temperatures.
“We’re very close to solving that,” Elon Musk said. Production is expected to scale up to up to eight of its engines weekly starting in March 2022. The goal is to produce Starships and boosters monthly until the end of the year. It would be a monumental achievement if everything goes according to plan and the timeline-wise.
But first, the project has to be cleared by an assessment that will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The decision from the FAA is expected to release its decision in the coming weeks. One of the factors that are being put into consideration is the impact on the wildlife reserve. It requires an in-depth study before giving the green light to the Boca Chica operations. This can take years and are subject to litigation.
If legal issues emerge as blockers for the project, SpaceX has a fall-back plan ready according to Musk. The Starship program will be transferred to the Kennedy Space Center located in Cape Canaveral, Florida, a location where the company has received the environmental approval needed to proceed with the project.
Image Source: www.unsplash.com