NASA confirms SpaceX is on track for landing the spacecraft on the Moon


Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator was leaving Kennedy Center HonorsGwen Shotwell, President & Chief Operating Officer at SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space project, met him this month.

Company now Contractor No. 2 for NASAHe makes more money with the space agency that from Lockheed Martin or Boeing. He. He. NASA astronauts flySpaceX is currently developing the spacecraft that will take people to the moon. Nelson became increasingly concerned about Musk’s involvement in his company as the founder and CEO SpaceX. Buy Twitter Loss of focus

“He told me not to worry about Twitter distraction,” he told Shotwell as they walked into the garage at the awards show together.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Nelson recalled, Shotwell replied, “I assure you—you have nothing to worry about.”

The exchange eased Nelson’s anxiety about Musk and his stewardship of SpaceX — at least for the time being. With the completion of Artemis I missionSpaceX will be increasingly looked to by NASA as it flies around the Moon this month without any astronauts aboard.

NASA made a huge bet on Musk last year and awarded her an award A contract worth about $3 billion To use the Starship spacecraft’s next-generation Starship to land astronauts on Mars by 2025. SpaceX has also been awarded a $1.5 billion contract for a second moon landing.

The company was running Extensive testing programmeIt is quickly moving to acquire the largest and most advanced and prestigious product at its own launch and manufacturing plant in South Texas. The most powerful missile ever It has been successfully flown in and is running. The company is currently building its Kennedy Space Center launch tower, which will be used to launch Falcon 9 rockets as well as the Dragon spacecraft.

SpaceX maintained its pace last week while Musk was tweeting. They completed three launches in just 34 hours, including the 15th flight of a Falcon 9 booster.

Nelson, who was previously a SpaceX skeptic became a believer.

Remember what everyone said. “SpaceX was pie in the sky,” Nelson, the former senator from Florida, said in the interview. “The proof is in the pudding,” as we say in South.

“And look at what they’ve done over there with that rocket, the Falcon 9,” he said, pointing to a model rocket he had in his office.

However, Musk’s venture into social media and how it consumed his time worries Nelson, other NASA leaders, and the entire space community.

Click on the catch to see more Take over Twitter That might mean for NASA, Nelson said: “I have a huge amount of confidence in Gwen Shotwell. I also have faith that Elon trusts Gwen and has handed the reins of SpaceX over to Gwen.”

SpaceX’s dayto-to-day operations have been that way for some time. SpaceX is still Musk’s company. He is the CEO and chief engineer. Over 10,000 employees are part of his vision and ethos. Starship, a fully-reusable spacecraft that he hopes to use to deliver people. Moon and MarsThis was the most time-consuming project for SpaceX.

Musk wrote an email last year to SpaceX employees complaining about the slow pace of production of the next-generation Raptor engines that power the spacecraft. He wrote, “The crisis in Raptor Production is much worse that it appeared a few week ago.” He stated that the company was at “real risk of bankruptcy” if the Starship doesn’t fly at least twice a week for the next year.

Musk was using the email to motivate his team members to work faster. Starship hasn’t flown in this year, let along at such a rapid pace. The company now plans to fly sometime in the first part of next.

It is not yet clear when. This year, the company He obtained preliminary approvalThe Federal Aviation Administration approved the launch of the vehicle into orbit. However, the approval also included a list of more 75 procedures that the company must follow. These procedures are meant to protect the environment and reduce the effects of SpaceX’s activities on a nearby wildlife sanctuary and public beach.

The FAA made a statement last week to The Post stating that the timeframe for completing milestones varies. The statement stated that some procedures must be completed before launch, while others can be performed after launch or after major accidents. “The FAA will ensure that SpaceX complies with all required mitigating factors.”

It didn’t say when SpaceX would launch. SpaceX declined to comment on this article.

SpaceX had earlier sent models of its spacecraft several thousand miles in the air as they hovered above the ground and descended towards their landing pad. Several It crashed and exploded. The team was able to find it after many attempts and the spacecraft successfully landed. Since then, the company has been focusing on building the launch tower with arms that catch the booster as they descend and getting the entire vehicle ready to launch. In recent months, it has conducted engine tests, including one last Wednesday.

Pam Milroy, NASA’s deputy administrator, stated that the company is making progress. However, it did not give a time frame for the orbital launch.

They already have the design. Do some “Serious hardware tests and they’re past where we’re probably gonna blow up the pillows,” she stated.

She was a former acting deputy director at FAA and she said she knew “how difficult is it to develop a new launch site for missiles.” … It’s difficult to build a site new, and I believe they’re testing some.

Nelson stated that he constantly asks for updates on the company’s progress during interviews. He stated, “And they’re always on schedule, meet every milestone and in some instances exceed their milestones.” “And you know, look at the history of SpaceX. Sometimes they take off, sometimes they explode. But in the end, they keep it up.”

They will be needed by NASA. After successfully flying Artemis I, the Starship is now heading towards Artemis II. This mission will send an astronaut crew in the Orion spacecraft to orbit and explore the moon by 2024. In an attempt to land on moon, the Starship will rendezvous in lunar orbit with Orion. Transport the astronauts to Orion and then back to the surface.

This Scheduled in 2025 — an ambitious, perhaps fanciful, timeline, considering the spacecraft has yet to fly into Earth’s orbit, let alone the Moon. SpaceX will have several tankers to fuel a spacecraft in Earth orbit before it can fly towards the Moon. This complicates the mission.

Nelson acknowledged that there’s a good possibility that the mission could be delayed until 2026. This is because the space agency needs to get its new spacesuits and fly the successful Artemis II mission.

“There is a lot of riding on it,” he said. “SpaceX should be available.”

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