(TargetLiberty.org) – Elon Musk’s private space launch business, SpaceX, is planning to be busy next year. It already has 25 launches scheduled for 2021; most of them are satellite, but there are also several NASA crew missions to the International Space Station. SpaceX has ambitions beyond becoming the Uber of low-Earth orbit, though. It has some exciting plans for 2021.
- In May, the spacecraft Crew Dragon Resilience, which launched to the ISS on November 16, will return to Earth with its four-man NASA and Japanese crew. This will be the first time a SpaceX craft has brought astronauts home from a space mission.
- On October 10, a Falcon-9 rocket will launch the first privately-built lunar lander to the Moon. When it arrives it will drop off two radio-controlled cars designed by high school students. Two teams of students will then race their vehicles across the Moon’s low-gravity surface.
Starship landing flip maneuver pic.twitter.com/QuD9HwZ9CX
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 10, 2020
- The highlight of the year, though, will be the first commercial Starship mission sometime in the fall. The Starship craft, and the Falcon Super Heavy rocket that launches it, will be able to put 100 tons of cargo in low Earth orbit or 20 tons in geostationary orbit. That’s only the start, though. SpaceX is also planning to have the Starship vehicle certified to carry crews as well as cargo – and it was designed from the start to be an interplanetary craft. In fact, it was originally called the Mars Colonial Transporter, but that was changed because, as SpaceX founder Elon Musk said, it can go “well beyond Mars.”
So many exciting developments are coming, and for the first time, mankind will be launching a ship that could carry people to another planet, and it will have an American flag on it.
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