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NASA Admin: SpaceX plans to land Starship on the Moon in 2023

According to NASA Administrator, SpaceX has plans to land a starship on the moon in 2023.

Former senator and current NASA administrator Bill Nelson said that his organization intends to visit Mars by the end of 2030 after the successful splashdown of the Orion spacecraft in the Pacific Ocean.

During a post-splashdown news conference, Senator Nelson struck an enthusiastic note after NASA conducted a successful Artemis 1 mission and presented information about SpaceX’s Starship lunar module.

Several agency representatives were present for the occasion, including NASA’s Artemis 1 mission manager, Michael Sarafin, who gave his concluding remarks on Orion’s performance as it sped towards the Earth for a flawless landing.

Orion outperformed expectations during its trip to the Moon and back, according to NASA engineers. Solar panels used to power the spacecraft produced more energy than anticipated.

In order to test the vehicle further and learn more about its capabilities for future flights, NASA incorporated new test goals as part of the mission. In addition to incorporating the collected data into preparations for the future manned Artemis mission, NASA plans to implement further upgrades to the vessel in response to the results of the current trip.

The crew will be able to monitor and manage the spaceship thanks to these modifications, which will affect hand controls, the life support system, and displays.

However, a number of the parts from the ship that just arrived today will be reused in the manned spaceship. These consist of GPS receivers, control panels, and antennas.

Starship Raptor Image
This image supplied by SpaceX on July 2, 2022 shows 33 Raptor 2 engines installed at the base of a SpaceX Super Heavy booster prototype that is slated to be flown topped by a Starship for its first orbital test flight that could come before the end of 2022. (SpaceX)

After the landing that took place today, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that his organization is planning trips to Mars by the end of the year 2030.

President Obama made the first announcement of the mission to Mars. And at the time, it was estimated that it would happen around 2033. And at the time, it was estimated that it would happen around 2033.

However, it was twelve years ago. And as of right now, the end of the 2030s is a more realistic deadline. However, a lot of this will rely on emerging technology, particularly its capacity to support people for protracted periods of time.

The speed at which we can send a crew to Mars will play a role in that. Thus, after years of study into nuclear thermal propulsion and nuclear electric propulsion, we have finally made progress with the Office of Management and Budget. Congress will likely endorse that, in my opinion.

New technology will get us there more quickly. This is the reason we established the goal of visiting Mars by the end of the 2030s. After that, we go beyond.

Important information concerning SpaceX’s Starship lunar lander was also disclosed by Administrator Nelson. As part of the Artemis mission, NASA has so far only selected this one spacecraft to carry people to the Moon. He spoke on Starship’s development and disclosed:

Every time I ask Jim Free whether the Starship is keeping up with the deadlines and benchmarks, he always replies in the affirmative and, in some instances, even goes above and beyond. I have visited Boca Chica.

It is breathtaking to see. How those ships are being assembled, followed by the large booster Additionally, they want to do a few test flights there.

Once they are certain, they will move the missions to the Cape, and until they have a permanent launch pad there, they will use the one that is currently being built, which is outside of Pad 39A.

You’re working on a brand-new rocket, you know. Although there may be some delays, they are currently on track, so anticipate some.

They want to land unmanned in late 23—one year from today!and in late 24 hours to complete the crewed landing.Slips are therefore always conceivable since it’s a new system, but they’ve been pretty remarkable with prior systems, so it’s not impossible.

Michael Sarafin, the Artemis 1 mission manager for NASA, also provided an update on the spacecraft’s last maneuvers during today’s descent and landing. He detailed this:

In terms of unanticipated events that may occur during reentry, I am not aware of any problems that may arise during the separation of the crew and the service module, the reorientation of the spacecraft into the entry interface attitude in order to obtain aerodynamic capture or the whole of the skip profile.

As far as I can remember, there were two lengthy blackouts that lasted around six minutes each. After we get the capsule back to Earth, we’ll need to check the post-mission data recorders to determine whether there was anything connected to it. But before long, the car successfully completed the skip reentry.

According to Howard, the entrance guiding system was perfect in terms of the intended landing place. We splashed down just in front of the rescue ship, and the car was unharmed. When a capsule turns over, all of the operational bags that cover it must immediately reposition themselves upright.

Starship Lunar Lander
SpaceX Starship Lunar Lander HLS – SpaceX

The vehicle was successfully powered down without any thruster leaks, dangers, or other problems once all five bags had been inflated.

The crew did leave the spacecraft running for two hours after splashdown as part of the flight test goals in order to collect thermal soak back data.

When we entered the Earth’s atmosphere, the vehicle observed temperatures outside of it that were getting close to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. We collected data by performing a prolonged power-up on the ocean’s surface, which absorbed back into the vehicle’s structure. All of it and the parachute deployments went well.

In order to make a final determination regarding Orion’s performance, NASA will now review data from the spacecraft during the next several months. It intends to choose the Artemis II crew early in 2019.


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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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