Providing the first major update about the giant rocket in years, the company’s CEO Elon Musk showed off the capabilities of the long-awaited Starship during a presentation earlier last week. The current system pairs a Starship spacecraft on top of a Super Heavy booster which Musk claims has more than twice the thrust of Saturn V, the largest rocket to ever go to space so far, thanks to its whopping 29 Raptor engines. Eventually, it’ll be able to carry 33.
Once the spacecraft leaves our planet, the Super Heavy booster will separate and fly back to SpaceX’s launch tower, where it can be refueled and reused every six to eight hours for as many as three launches a day. The company highlights the importance of this reusability, saying that it’ll be “key to a future in which humanity is out exploring the stars.”
Aside from convenience, the Starship also significantly reduces cost. Musk says that each launch and flight could cost less than $10 million USD in total, a massive reduction from the cost of the existing Falcon 9, which comes with a $60 million USD price tag. SpaceX is now awaiting the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval, which is likely to come in March following an environmental assessment.
A fully and rapidly reusable launch vehicle is key to a future in which humanity is out exploring the starshttps://t.co/HJJLlJONoq
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 11, 2022
Elsewhere in tech, CryptoPunk #5822 sold for a record-breaking 8,000 ETH.