Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s Starship, a fully reusable system that is designed to transport crew and cargo to space, is currently in the testing stage. On Saturday, the billionaire entrepreneur’s biographer Walter Isaacson took to Twitter to share excerpts of an upcoming book on Musk that revealed his emotions surrounding the vehicle’s first test flight.
“My stomach is twisted in knots,” Musk told Mark Juncosa, the vice president of vehicle engineering at SpaceX, as they stood on the balcony atop the 265-foot-tall high-bay assembly building at Starbase, according to the excerpt.
“It always happens before a big launch. I have PTSD from the failures on Kwaj,” Musk reportedly said. According to Isaacson, the billionaire was referring to the two-stage Falcon 1 rocket launch in 2021 from the U.S. military’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands. The rocket was lost just after the liftoff.
The Starship’s first test flight took place in April. When Musk arrived in South Texas for the launch, he “retreated into the future” by discussing with Juncosa about replacing Starbase’s four football-field-size assembly with :a mammoth factory building that could make rockets at a rate of more than one a month,” Isaacson said.
Musk also reportedly suggested starting construction of the factory right away, along with the creation of a new village of solar-roofed homes for workers.
Musk gave a lot of thought to scaling production of the rocket, the excerpt revealed.
“It would eventually take a fleet of a thousand to sustain a human colony on Mars. My biggest concern is our trajectory. Are we on a trajectory to get to Mars before civilization crumbles?” Musk reportedly said.
According to Isaacson, when other engineers joined Musk for a three-hour pre-launch review in the conference room atop the high bay, Musk gave them a pep talk.
“It’s worth keeping in mind as you go through all the tribulations that the thing you’re working on is the coolest f**ng thing on Earth,” he reportedly said.
Musk also supposedly discussed the risk involved, primarily the battles with regulatory agencies to secure licensing.
“My f**king brain is hurting, I’m trying to figure out how we get humanity to Mars with all this bullshit,” the billionaire said, according to Isaacson.
“This is how civilizations decline. They quit taking risks. And when they quit taking risks, their arteries harden,” Musk later said, per the excerpt.
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