Only 24 humans have been to the Moon, and no one has been back since 1972. Today, NASA announced they have selected Starship to land the first astronauts on the lunar surface since the Apollo program. We are humbled to help NASA usher in a new era of human space exploration.
Together, NASA and SpaceX have successfully executed similarly bold and innovative partnerships, including restoring America’s ability to launch astronauts to orbit and return them safely home. We will build upon our shared accomplishments, and leverage years of close technical collaboration to return to the Moon. In doing so, we will lay the groundwork for human exploration to Mars and beyond.
Sustaining a human presence on the Moon will require the safe and affordable transportation of crew and significant amounts of cargo. SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket represent an integrated and fully reusable launch, propellant delivery, rendezvous, and planetary lander system with robust capabilities and safety features uniquely designed to deliver these essential building blocks.
Flying between lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon, Starship will carry crew and all of the supplies, equipment, and science payloads needed for extensive surface exploration. Building off the safety and reliability of Dragon and Falcon, Starship will feature proven avionics, guidance and navigation systems, autonomous rendezvous, docking and precision landing capabilities, as well as thermal protection, and a spacious cabin with familiar displays and interfaces utilized on Dragon.
SpaceX is rapidly advancing Starship development, drawing on an extensive history of launch vehicle and engine development programs. Since January 2020, SpaceX has built 10 Starship prototypes, with production and fidelity accelerating on each build. SpaceX has manufactured and tested more than 60 of Starship’s Raptor engines, accumulating nearly 30,000 seconds of total test time over 567 engine starts, including on multiple Starship static fires and flight tests. We have conducted six suborbital flight tests, including two 150-m hops and four high-altitude flights. SpaceX has also built a full-size Super Heavy booster as part of a pathfinder effort, and currently has five vehicles in production.
We are honored to be a part of NASA’s Artemis Program to safely land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon, as the first of many, many more people to follow.