'Highly confident': Elon Musk says SpaceX Starship to reach Earth's orbit this year

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 11, 2022, 06:17 PM(IST)

Technical staff from SpaceX and the Tonga Government were working on installing the equipment to have it operational from next week. Photograph:( AFP )

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Musk acknowledged the difficulties that SpaceX has faced in developing the "Raptor 2" engines. He also mentioned obstacles including the melting inside thruster chambers

Despite multiple technical hurdles, Elon Musk said that he was "highly confident" about his SpaceX Starship and it will reach Earth's orbit for the first time this year. It has been designed for trips to the moon and Mars. 

Musk acknowledged the difficulties that SpaceX has faced in developing the "Raptor 2" engines. He also mentioned obstacles including the melting inside thruster chambers of the engines from intense heat.

"We're very close to solving that," he said as he is expecting to scale up production to seven or eight engines per week by next month. They aim at producing a new Starship and a booster every month by year's end.

"I feel at this point highly confident that we will get to orbit (with the Starship) this year," said Musk. 

Also read | 'I felt his last heartbeat': Musk talks about losing his son in emails with father of Tesla crash victim

Earlier in December, Musk said that SpaceX needs to come up with many next-generation Starship engines soon to keep growing its Starlink broadband constellation and eventually, stay in business.

Musk tweeted, "If a severe global recession were to dry up capital availability/liquidity while SpaceX was losing billions on Starlink (and) Starship, then bankruptcy, while still unlikely, is not impossible."  

The statement came in response to a leaked email, which was sent by the billionaire to employees over the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. 

In it, Musk asked for "all hands-on deck." 

The email which was leaked talked about a "production crisis" within the company. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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