Elon Musk Expects Next Starship Launch In A "Couple Months"

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 01, 2023 - 09:45 AM

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk held a Twitter Space discussion regarding the recent Starship rocket launch. Although the launch experienced several engine failures and other issues leading to a loss of control and activation of the automatic flight termination system, Musk considered it to have met his expectations. He expects that SpaceX will invest $2 billion in Starship's development this year, with the next launch planned in a few months. 

"The outcome was roughly sort of what I expected and maybe slightly exceeded my expectations," Musk said, adding Starship was able to achieve flight and a "significant" amount of data was able to be collected, including through maximum dynamic pressure or "MAX-Q." He said, "Overall, I actually feel like that was a great flight." 

About 72.4k of Musk's subscribers tuned into the hour-long discussion last night. Musk offered a recap of the flight. He provided the understanding that troubles began during liftoff when 3 of the 33 Raptor engines either failed to ignite or were aborted during launch. "Those engines did not explode, but the system didn't think they were healthy enough to bring them to full thrust," Musk said. 

Musk further noted that a minimum of 30 Raptor engines were required for liftoff, resulting in a noticeable tilt of the rocket as it blasted off from SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, on April 20. 

Musk said the automatic flight termination system took "way too long" to trigger as the rocket veered off course. He noted the termination system would need to be requalified before the next launch, which could be in six to eight weeks. 

"Hopefully, we'll be ready to fly again in a couple of months," Musk said. 

Musk said the next Starship launch would have a higher probability of achieving orbit:

"I would be surprised if we exit this year without getting to orbit"... there's almost an 80%-plus probability of doing so, increasing to nearly 100% within 12 months

Musk said SpaceX will spend upwards of $2 billion this year on Starship developments. He said this could all be done without outside funding. 

It appears the world's largest rocket ever built is set to fly again.