The battle to be the first company to offer commercial flights into space is heating up, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX announcing they will be heading into space commercially in 2021 on the Starship spaceship. With both Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and NASA looking to get make space travel a reality in the next few years, SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Jonathan Hofeller confirmed at the APSAT conference in Indonesia earlier this week they are up for the challenge.
“We are in discussions with three different customers as we speak right now to be that first mission. Those are all telecom companies,” Hofeller said. “The goal is to get orbital as quickly as possible, potentially even this year, with the full stack operational by the end of next year and then customers in early 2021.”
Starship test vehicle under assembly will look similar to this illustration when finished. Operational Starships would obv have windows, etc. pic.twitter.com/D8AJ01mjyR
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2019
SpaceX is currently working on the Starship project at two facilities in Texas and Florida. The company hope that once complete, they will not only be able to send people into space, but land on the moon, and even Mars.
Starship is said to be SpaceX’s most powerful rocket yet and designed for full reusability, making it cheaper to run and lowering the cost for commercial entities to use the spaceship to launch satellites. Perhaps it’ll be the facilitator of NASA’s plan to commercialise the International Space Station for $50,000 a night.