The Super Heavy has yet to soar. But a full-scale Starship model in May flew to an altitude of more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) before successfully landing back at the SpaceX complex near Texas' southernmost tip.
The Starship and Super Heavy for the first orbital test flight have both been completed, according to Musk. By the end of November, the company hopes to be finished with the launch pad and tower, with testing in December. The Federal Aviation Administration should be done by the end of the year with its review, leading to a launch in January or February at the latest, Musk noted.
To date, about 90% of Starship’s development costs have been covered by SpaceX, according to Musk, with NASA covering the rest with its lunar lander contract. He did not say how much had been spent so far.
Musk plans to build multiple Starships in the near term. He envisions needing 1,000 of them to make life truly multiplanetary, his ultimate goal.
He said something natural or manmade will eventually bring about the end of civilization — a pandemic worse than COVID-19, continually decreasing birth rates, nuclear Armageddon or perhaps a direct hit by a killer comet. Moving people to Mars and elsewhere as quickly as possible, he noted, is essential "for preserving the light of consciousness.”
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