Speaking to a quick series of interviews with the space company at this year's annual International Congress on Space Science, SpaceX President and COO Guinea Shotwell shed some light on her company's ongoing thinking about the mission's timeline Spacecraft for a spacecraft. Starship, currently in parallel development at SpaceX facilities in South Texas and Florida, is intended to be the universal successor to the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy with greater payload capacity and the ability to reach the moon and ultimately Mars.
"We want to get Starship into orbit within a year," Shotwell said. "We definitely want to land her on the moon before 2022. We want […] to do the cargo there to make sure there are resources for people who end up landing on the moon by 2024, if things are going well so this is the aspiration timeline. "
This is an ambitious timeline, and as Shotwell himself repeatedly states, these are" ambitious "timelines. In the space industry and in the technology industry, it is not uncommon for management to set aggressive schedules to get project teams to work as far as they can. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is also known for working on timescales that are often inconsistent with reality, and Shotwell shared about Musk's ambitious goal of virtue in another part of her interview on stage at the IAC.
"Elon sets these incredibly bold goals and people say ' you do this, you will never get into orbit, you will never get a real orbit rocket, […] you will never get a heavy orbit, you will never get a dragon at the station, you will never get a dragon back and you will never land a rocket " "So honestly, I love it when people say we can't we do it because it motivates my fantastic 6500 employees to go for it. "
SpaceX previously discussed its goal of launching its first Starship orbital test flights in just one year. So far, the company has built and tested it called the Starhopper demonstration vehicle, which consisted only of the base of the car and one of the Raptor engines it would use for its new Starship and Super Heavy booster launch system. After completing successful low-altitude flights with this vehicle, SpaceX proceeded to assemble its Mk1 and Mk2 Starship test vehicles, which are the full scale of the orbital spacecraft and built by teams in Boca Chica and Cape Canaveral respectively . They will perform high altitude tests before SpaceX builds additional prototypes for orbiting and ultimately human test flights. SpaceX has already been contracted by intuitive machines and ispace, with both companies working with NASA to deliver payloads. The moon is ahead of the human moon landing on the Artemis 2024 program, but all of these payload missions determine using Falcon 9 to deliver their payloads.