‘SpaceX Starship is about to change everything’ says NASA Employee Casey Handmer

Casey Handmer, a system architect at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, is encouraged by SpaceX’s progress toward constructing a rocket capable of transporting people to the Moon and potentially Mars.

“Two years ago, Starship was a design idea and a mock up,” Handmer wrote about the hyper-ambitious rocket in a long essay on his personal blog. According to the researchers, the prototype is 95 percent complete and will soon be sent into space, with the possibility of returning in one piece.

It is true that SpaceX has made great progress, from launching early prototypes to a height of little over six miles to developing a massive “Mechazilla” robot tower capable of capturing Starships upon their return to the Earth.

If regulatory permission does not take an inordinate amount of time, the spacecraft’s first orbital test might take place as soon as next month.

While the tone of the NASA engineer’s blog post fluctuates from restrained excitement to full-on SpaceX fanboyism, he makes a vital point: NASA isn’t ready for Starship yet.

“Starships are important,” Handmer says in his article. “It’s not simply a massive rocket on steroids, like any other rocket on steroids,” says the author. It is an ongoing and focused effort to attain the “Holy Grail” of rocketry, which is a completely and fast reusable orbital class rocket that can be mass produced.”

He was also a little critical of his company, saying that Starship would make many of the agency’s lofty aspirations irrelevant in the near future.

In his words, “Artemis will continue to limp uncomfortably along with sporadic half-hearted press releases, Eric Berger scoops, and mediocre budgets.” In the future, Starship will perform an autonomous Lunar landing and return with a few tonnes of Moon rocks, and either NASA will have branding rights to the Moon rocks or they will not.

According to the NASA employee, Starship functions on a whole different level than any other rocket that has come before it has.

As Handmer says, “it is past time for us to broaden the scope of our goal and think far more broadly.”

For example, he claims that a base with a capacity of 1000 people might be built on the Moon’s surface because of its enormous carrying capacity.

“We’re unlikely to do so, but we could,” Handmer adds in his letter.

Further, he claims NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send men back to the moon’s surface for the first time since the Apollo missions, is not built to take full use of what Starship has to offer since it isn’t designed to fully exploit the capabilities of Starship.

Handmer says that this is because “Starship is still not grasped at the organizational level.”

Earlier this year, NASA announced that SpaceX had been chosen as the only winner of its Human Landing Systems program, handing the Elon Musk-led business a $2.9 billion contract that entrusted the company with developing a lunar version of the Starship.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has mandated that Starship transport people to the lunar surface as soon as 2024 — but that is simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the launch system can do.

“NASA is in the middle of the most exciting moment it has had since its creation in 1958,” he says in his conclusion. In the future, we may have every NASA facility producing world-building machines by the truckload, laying the groundwork for the vital infrastructure that will serve as the backbone of humanity’s transition to a multiplanetary civilisation.

According to Handmer, Starship might herald a seismic change in the field of space exploration.

In his letter, he said that “Starship will happen and it will alter everything.” “It may take a year or three,” he added.

Casey Handmer’s Original Blog Link

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