Starship’s flight to Mars have been announced, but first Elon Musk promised to catch the Super Heavy launch

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The launch was originally planned for 2022

Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX, said that the company will be able to land the Starship spacecraft on Mars in three to four years. He spoke about this via video link during the International Astronautics Congress in Baku.

“I think it’s entirely possible to have a test unmanned landing there within the next four years,” Musk told Clay Mowry, president of the International Astronautical Federation.

When Musk unveiled Starship in 2016, he said SpaceX’s first unmanned landing on the Red Planet would occur in 2022, and its first human flight would take place in 2024.

In April, there was one Starship test flight that went out of control, after which the order was given to blow up the ship minutes after launch. The second ship is technically ready for launch, but the Federal Aviation Administration has not yet issued a license.

Starship’s flight to Mars has been announced, but first Elon Musk promised to catch the Super Heavy launch

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Musk said this week that SpaceX plans to fire the second stage engines before the spacecraft’s stages fully separate: “I would say that’s the riskiest part of the flight. If the engines work and the ship doesn’t explode, then I think we have a decent chance of reaching orbit.”

Musk also predicted when the launch tower would first try to catch Super Heavy upon landing. He said there was a “decent chance” of catching the launch vehicle within the next year and possibly removing the spacecraft from orbit before the end of next year.

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