The $2.9 billion NASA funding for the SpaceX Lunar Starship means that a Starship will get man-rated for four astronauts. This means getting the chance of loss of crew less than one in 500 for a lunar landing. SpaceX Lunar Starship will only initially support four astronauts because the launch will be performed by SLS and Orion. Orion can only hold four astronauts. SpaceX Lunar Starship will receive those astronauts and land them on the moon.
This funding boost will make it easier for SpaceX to get Super Heavy Starship (SHS) man-rated for earth launch and landing.
SpaceX is also working to launch about 9 people for the Dear Moon lunar orbit mission for the Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. The NASA lunar mission and the Dear moon lunar orbit mission are targeting 2023.
Dear moon will be using a validated man-rated launch and landing. The NASA Artemis will be using a man-rated lunar landing.
The SpaceX Starship can hold 100 tons of payload and Elon Musk has indicated future versions could take 200 tons of payload to orbit.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon 2 weighs about 6 tons. They have held a crew of four. They can hold up to seven.
A SpaceX Starship could hold sixteen Crew Dragons as escape pods for mission abort. Four rings of four Crew Dragons could be used as mission abort. This would enable a maximum crew of 112 to all have escape pods. They would be seated in the escape pods during the launch and landing.
The Crew Dragon 2 has already been certified for crew abort and is man-rated.
Crews of 112 would mean in five missions SpaceX would be able to more than double the total number of astronauts in human history. As of April 18, 2021, a total of 569 people from 41 countries have gone into space according to the FAI criterion (579 people have qualified when including the US Department of Defense classification. A total of 569 people from 41 countries have gone into space according to the FAI criterion. Safely launching 112 at a time on reusable rockets that launch every day or every week means we could double the humans who have ever been to space in the first week of full flight operations. It can mean 22,000 to 35,000 people launched into space with 200 to 300 launches per year.
SOURCES- SpaceX, ErcX Space, Smallstars, Apogee
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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