Elon Musk Wants SpaceX's Energy Focused Into Mission To The Moon
After the launch of SpaceX's historic mission to the International Space Station on 30 May, Elon Musk has told his 7,000 employees to channel all of their efforts into sending a rocket up to the moon.
According to an internal email obtained by US news channel CNBC, Musk outlined to his team that they should be working full tilt to ensure that the Starship project, which is a reusable rocket destined to one day land on the moon and - he hopes - transport as many as 100 people to Mars at a time.
Big thinking, that's for sure.
According to the email, Musk told employees: "Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon [the ISS mission Crew Dragon rocket] return risk) to be Starship."
The project so far hasn't gone exactly to plan. In fact, several earlier iterations of the rocket have failed and been completely destroyed during testing, when the rockets were filled with inert liquid nitrogen.
The most recent one, you might remember, went up in a huge ball of flames just the day before NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley boarded the Crew Dragon rocket up to the space station.
Luckily, the two history-making astronauts were aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, which has been tested countless times and successfully launched before taking human passengers.
So far, the full scale Starship has yet to actually fly, but that's something that the South African billionaire Musk is hoping to change in the not-so-distant future.
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He continued: "We need to accelerate Starship progress."
There's encouragement to be had. SpaceX has actually successfully launched its Starhopper rocket before, and that's a shorter and earlier version of the Starlink machine.
However, the hard work lies ahead. It seems as if Musk reckons there might need to be 20 large scale prototypes of the Starship rocket made up and tested out before they can take the risk of actually sending one up into orbit.
To speed the process up, it seems as if the 48-year-old wants to encourage staff from SpaceX's Los Angeles headquarters to head on out to Boca Chica in Texas, where the Starship production complex is based.
It's previously been reported that Musk might build a 'SpaceX Village' with loads of cool stuff for employees to get up to when they're not working.
That could be rock climbing, volleyball tournaments and lounge parties, if reports are to be believed.
However, it looks like - if everything goes to plan - the aim will be to land a SpaceX rocket on the moon by the mid-2020s.
On Friday, he also reiterated his desire to stick to the plan of a mid-2024 launch carrying passengers to Mars.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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