SpaceX’s list of Starship customers is growing steadily ahead of orbital launch

Starship: SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle

Sky Perfect JSat joins a growing list of companies and organizations putting their faith in Starship before it’s even reached orbit. NASA, for example, has already penned a $2.9 billion agreement with SpaceX to build a Starship model capable of landing astronauts on the moon for its Artemis III mission. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has also booked a Starship trip around the moon for his dearMoon mission.

NASA’s Artemis III mission is setting its sights on a 2025 or 2026 launch date, while the dearMoon mission is currently scheduled for 2023. The dearMoon launch date is fast approaching, though it will only take flight if and when Starship is operational.

Starship is SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle. It will drastically reduce the cost of launches by being fully reusable. That substantial cost reduction is something SpaceX and its CEO Elon Musk hopes will allow it to send astronauts to Mars.

The launch system comprises a massive first-stage booster, called Super Heavy, and a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) upper-stage called Starship. Both will be powered by SpaceX’s next-gen engines, with Starship using six Raptor engines and Super Heavy boasting 33. As a point of comparison, SpaceX’s partially reusable Falcon 9 rocket uses 10 Merlin engines.

SpaceX prepares for Starship orbital maiden flight

SpaceX is preparing for Starhip’s orbital maiden flight, having secured Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approval in June following the government agency’s environmental review of the spacecraft. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also recently granted SpaceX a radio-spectrum license application, with a launch window starting on September 1.

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