Musk’s Biggest Space Gamble

Starship is threatening NASA’s moon contractors, which are watching its progress with a mix of awe and horror.

Elon Musk is planning yet again to rocket beyond the status quo. And if he succeeds, the aerospace giants that won the first space race may never catch him in this one.

Standing in front of the towering Starship rocket at Space X’s southwest Texas “Starbase” on Thursday night, Musk pledged that his most ambitious spaceship yet will make its first journey in the coming months.

“At this point, I am highly confident we will get to orbit this year,” he said in the first update in two years on the invention he acknowledged “does sound crazy.”

“It will work,” he declared. “There might be a few bumps along the way, but it will work.”

Starship is designed to be the first all-purpose space vehicle: a reusable and refuelable spacecraft that can take scores of people and millions of tons of cargo from Earth directly to the moon and eventually Mars — and do it over and over again.

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