A SpaceX company executive has revealed that the company is planning on its first commercial launch of Starship and Super Heavy Rocket in 2021.
According to Space News SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller stated that the company is already looking for customers for planned commercial launches.
If successful, The Super Heavy Rocket will carry Starship into orbit. This would replace the current Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets as well as Dragon spacecraft with a single system which will provide more affordable opportunities for SpaceX customers. For instance, the system would be able to deliver satellites into orbit, transport cargo to the International Space Station etc. all through one successful launch. Moreover, the project will have ability to carry up to 100 people on long-duration trips.
Hofeller said the SpaceX is currently testing the vehicle before making it available to customers. Back in April, SpaceX fired up the engine to perform two ‘hop’ tests. During the test, a prototype of the Starship propelled itself just centimeters off the ground. At the moment, the company has several tests scheduled for later this year to ensure that the vehicle is operational by the end of next year.
Hofeller said, “We have future hops coming up later this year. 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.”
While the upcoming project will replace reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, they will still be around to meet customers’ demands. He continued, “Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy are going to be around as long as our customers want them. If we make them obsolete by having a better product and a lower price, great.”