On Thursday Feb 10th, Elson Musk gave a presentation on his expectation of when SpaceX is planning to hit its next major milestone. This is the first time, since 2019, for Musk to provide a formal update on the SpaceX venture.

Read about our 4 trends: From Space Travel to Metaverse, 4 Trends that will shape 2022

Video summary of the article:

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What is SpaceX and Starship?

Space Exploration Technologies, doing business as (dba) SpaceX, is a private venture, conceived and formed by entrepreneur Elon Musk, in the hopes of revolutionizing the aerospace industry, with a vision to make spaceflight for masses a reality. SpaceX is trying to accomplish this through re-use, leading to cost efficiencies. SpaceX has been able to optimize the cost to $30 million and Musk believes it can further be optimized to around $10 million.

“I’m highly confident it would be less than $10 million,” Musk said.

According to SpaceX.com, Starship can deliver both cargo and people to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Starship’s fairing provides significant capacity for in-space activities. The cargo containers can also host a variety of payloads.

Source: Starship presentation by Elon Musk

What are the key takeaways from Musk's updates?

Musk focused on several key areas, time horizon for the next launch, troubles with regulation and potential partnerships (business opportunities), though he shied away from specifics on the latter.

52 space launches planned in 2022:

"I feel at this point highly confident that we'll get to orbit this year," Musk said. 

During a meeting of a key NASA agency oversight committee, panel member Sandra Magnus revealed that SpaceX is targeting 52 launch manifest. This is by no means is a pipe dream, as SpaceX successfully completed 31 launches in 2021, beating its previous record of 26 launches in 2020.

Partnership Opportunities:

"There's going to be some future announcements that I think people will be pretty fired up about," he said. "There are a lot of additional customers that will want to use Starship [but] I don't want to steal their thunder. They're going to make their own announcements."

Launch locations and Environment impacts:

“We don’t have a ton of insight into where things stand with the FAA. We have gotten sort of a rough indication that there may be an approval in March,” Musk said. 

The environmental concerns are key concerns for Starship’s future in Texas, but Musk said he is “optimistic” that SpaceX will receive approval to move forward.  

Additionally, Musk said he thinks “Texas has the right amount of rules and regulations” for the experimental project.

As space travel is one of the 4 trends we've highlighted to tee off in 2022, this is just another proof point of our evaluations materializing.