Elon Musk says his SpaceX Starship could put Nasa astronauts on Moon in just THREE years

ELON Musk has claimed that SpaceX could land astronauts on the Moon within the next three years.

The rocket company was last week selected by Nasa to build the crewed Moon lander that will form a key component of the Artemis programme.

Artemis aims to land spacefarers on the Moon by 2024 and eventually set up a permanent human presence on Earth's rocky neighbour.

Speaking at a press conference last week, Musk said that he believed Nasa's ambitious timeline remained a reasonable target for SpaceX.

"I think it will happen. I think 2024 seems likely," the Tesla boss said April 23 after the successful launch of SpaceX's Crew-2 mission, which docked with the International Space Station over the weekend.

"We're gonna aim for sooner than that," he added.

Nasa has awarded a £2.1billion contract to SpaceX to build a lander that will return humans to the Moon.

The agency picked the firm over billionaire rival Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin and defence contractor Dynetics Inc.

The lander is based on his firm's Starship craft being tested in Texas.

Nasa said it will carry two US astronauts as part of its Artemis programme, which could lead to a permanent lunar base and a Mars landing.

Speaking Friday, Musk said he believed Starship – which is still in the early days of development – could begin flying regular manned flights by 2023.

The firm's previous four Starship test flights have ended in dramatic explosions.

Referencing the botched tests, Musk said with a laugh: "Obviously, we need to, like, not be making craters.

"Got some work to do, but making rapid progress. We've got to make sure we're accelerating the rate of innovation, and then it could be ready in a couple years."


Starship is in the early stages of development, and trial launches have thus far taken the form of high-altitude flights of a few miles.

SpaceX plans to reach orbit with the rocket in an unmanned flight by 2022.

Billionaire Musk, who is also CEO of Tesla, hopes to send a million people to Mars in his lifetime using a 1,000-strong fleet of the powerful rockets.

The finished product will stand 165ft (50 metres) tall and boast six of SpaceX's powerful Raptor engines.


What is SpaceX?

Here’s what you need to know…

SpaceX is a cash-flushed rocket company that wants to take man to Mars.

It was set up by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk in 2002 and is based in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX's first aim was to build rockets that can autonomously land back on Earth for refurbishment and re-use.

The technology makes launching and operating space flights more efficient, and therefore cheaper.

SpaceX currently uses its reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets to fly cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for Nasa.

It also carries satellites and other space tech into orbit for various government agencies and multinational companies.

The company took astronauts to the ISS for the first time in 2020.

Other future missions involve carrying tourists to the ISS and astronauts to the Moon and Mars.

Musk has repeatedly said he believes humanity must colonise Mars to save itself from extinction.

He plans to get a SpaceX rocket to the Red Planet by 2027.

According to SpaceX, the contraption will hit speeds of 15,000mph (25,000kph), making it the world's most powerful spacecraft.

In a series of tweets last year, Musk outlined how his Starlink plans would open up space travel to anyone, regardless of their income.

"Needs to be such that anyone can go if they want, with loans available for those who don't have money," he wrote.

Musk's plan involves building an expansive fleet of Starship vehicles, which comprise a huge rocket topped by a bullet-shaped spacecraft.

SpaceX says reusable rockets that can land and take off again make space travel more cost effective, accessible and sustainable.

However, the team has a long way to go before they can conduct Starship's first manned flight.

Musk is targeting a Mars cargo mission by 2022 and a manned flight to the Red Planet by 2024.

In other news, the world’s first reality show filmed in space will follow a contestant on a 10-day trip to the ISS in 2023.

Acids may have destroyed any evidence of ancient life on Mars, according to a new study.

And, a Nasa has unveiled a new lunar lander that could put astronauts back on the Moon in 2024.

Would you like to go to space? Let us know in the comments…

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