Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc TSLA and SpaceX is urging employees to renew focus on Starship, a massive rocket that can take as many as 100 people in one go to the moon and Mars.
In an email to employees Saturday, Musk wrote, “We need to accelerate Starship progress.” He asked employees to increase the speed of progress on the rocket “dramatically and immediately,” reported CNBC.
The communique to employees comes a week after SpaceX launched NASA astronauts into space. The duo of astronauts was launched using a SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle launched by a Falcon 9 rocket.
The chief executive asked employees to focus on the large rocket writing, “Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship.”
Why It Matters
Currently, the Falcon 9 is the main workhorse of SpaceX and the company has launched 85 missions using that rocket in the past ten years, reported CNBC.
While Falcon 9 is partly reusable, the stainless steel Starship is intended to be fully reusable. The development of Starship has suffered from four major setbacks, the latest being a prototype exploding on May 29 in Texas.
After a prototype was unveiled in 2019, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine had said he wanted to see further developments and delivery on taxpayer money in a tweet.
Musk had said at the time that SpaceX’s “resources are overwhelmingly” focused on Crew Dragon, reported CNBC.
SpaceX has raised nearly $1.7 billion since 2019, and its valuation has risen to $36 billion. Musk told employees to consider spending more time in Boca Chica, Texas, where Starship is being developed, reported CNBC.
He wrote, “For those considering moving, we will always offer a dedicated SpaceX aircraft to shuttle people.”
Analysts believe SpaceX’s value largely lies in Starlink, the company’s satellite-based low-latency broadband internet service.
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