Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has outlined his plans to send humans to the moon before 2024. He is targeting 2023 for a crewed flight around the moon. This ambitious goal will be achieved through a combination of private investment and NASA contracts. “It’s a huge honor to be picked by NASA to return humans to the moon,” Musk said, underlining his company’s ambition of frequent missions to the moon and beyond. “It’s been over half a century since humans last set foot on the moon. The company’s ultimate goal is to colonize Mars with human settlements on Earth as backup against any possible extinction events that could happen here on our home planet.
This article discusses how Elon Musk plans to send humans back onto the moon by 2024, in just six years from now.
Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO, has stated that SpaceX would most likely be ready to ferry humans to and from the moon before 2024. NASA is collaborating with Elon Musk’s private spaceflight business on the Artemis mission, which aims to return people to the moon for the first time since 1972. As part of a $2.89 billion agreement, SpaceX will construct the first commercial landers for lunar missions, known as human landing systems (HLS). The first will see NASA’s Space Delivery System rocket launch, four men, into lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft. Two astronauts will board the SpaceX lander and travel to the moon’s surface, where they will spend roughly a week exploring.
The HLS Starship, built by SpaceX, would stay in space and make many journeys between lunar orbit and the moon’s surface. It is envisaged that a version of the landing mechanism may be developed for use on Mars and other planets.
“Do you plan to have Lunar Starship ready to land humans in 2024 (despite other delays)?” I asked on Twitter. “Probably sooner,” Musk said bluntly.
Musk’s firm was formed on the idea of making life multi-planetary, and Musk announced in January 2020 that by 2050, he wanted to transport 1 million people to Mars. The business believes that Starship, which also refers to its rocket and spaceship combo, will one day be a completely reusable transport system capable of transporting up to 100 people to Mars at a time.
The innovative idea has seen a number of failures, with four prototypes successfully taking off but struggling with touchdown techniques and eventually killing themselves. However, in May, a key milestone was achieved when a prototype, Serial Number 15 (SN15), successfully performed an elevated ascent and landing.
The current SpaceX-NASA collaboration would not be the first time the two organizations have collaborated.
Musk’s business is one of only two commercial companies to be awarded a contract to transport NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (the other being Boeing). Using its Crew Dragon spaceship, SpaceX does this. Another wealthy American, Jeff Bezos, who runs his own space firm, has criticized NASA for awarding contracts to SpaceX rather than his Blue Origin project. Dynetics, situated in Alabama, was also passed over for the lunar lander contract.
Although SpaceX has not stated how much it has spent on the program, Musk has previously predicted that it will cost around $5 billion to completely build Starship. The Human Landing Systems contract, Musk said on Friday, is “very beneficial,” because Starship development has “largely been funded internally thus far, and it’s extremely costly.” Musk stated, “It’s a difficult vehicle to construct because we’re attempting to crack this nut of a fast and totally reusable rocket.” “However, the thing that will truly change space is a fast reusable rocket that is also reliable.”