Trending

Elon Musk says SpaceX will fly Starship spaceship into orbit in January, warns about first attempt

Business Insider US
Elon Musk said in a video call that SpaceX will launch Starship spaceship in January.
SpaceX; Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images
  • Elon Musk said SpaceX wants to fly its Starship spaceship to orbit for the first time in January.
  • He said Starship's first flight might not succeed, but it would reach orbit sometime in 2022.
  • The new date comes later than expected — Musk first predicted July, then November for first flight.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk said on Wednesday that SpaceX is planning to launch its Starship spaceship into orbit for the first time in early 2022, but cautioned that the initial attempt might not be a success.

SpaceX will carry out tests in December, ahead of Starship's first orbital flight in January, Musk said during a video call with members of the National Academy of Sciences.

"There's a lot of risk associated with this first launch, so I would not say that it is likely to be successful, but we'll make a lot of progress," he said.

Musk said in the video call that he was confident that Starship would successfully reach orbit in 2022.

"I'm not sure we'll get there on the first attempt, but I'm comfortable we'll get there next year," he said later in the call.

The billionaire said in the call that he expects SpaceX will carry out a dozen or more orbital test flights with Starship next year.

The January date is later than SpaceX officials previously predicted.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and COO, said at a conference in June that the company was "shooting for July" for Starship's first orbital mission. Musk also tweeted that the launch would be in July.

In October, Musk tweeted that the launch date was scheduled for November, depending on regulatory approvals.

The Federal Aviation Administration is still carrying out environmental reviews at SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, but said it should be finished by the end of 2021.

In the call, Musk said that SpaceX's launch pad and launch tower in Boca Chica will be completed later this month.

Starship will launch from South Texas and splash down off the coast of Hawaii as part of its 90-minute orbital test flight, according to the company's FCC filing in May.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.


Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
16.33
+0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.77
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.04
-0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.16
-0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.2%
Gold
1,812.90
+0.1%
Silver
19.89
+0.0%
Palladium
1,943.50
-1.1%
Platinum
892.00
0.0%
Brent-ruolie
111.63
+2.3%
Top 40
59,640
0.0%
All Share
65,662
0.0%
Resource 10
61,245
0.0%
Industrial 25
80,264
0.0%
Financial 15
14,564
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo