Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched 22 Starlink satellites on Monday, just two days after its dramatic second Starship flight test. The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellites took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with the satellites deployed an hour into the flight.
On Saturday, SpaceX conducted its second Starship flight test from its Starbase facility in Texas. While the massive rocket completed stage separation, its Super Heavy Rocket booster exploded shortly afterward. This test follows the initial launch earlier this year, which ended with the explosion of the rocket. Despite the setback, SpaceX praised the successful launch in a tweet, noting that it was the first time the hot-stage separation technique had been accomplished with a vehicle of this size.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, expressed optimism about the future of space exploration, calling Starship a game-changer that can make life multiplanetary. The Starship, designed to carry both crew and cargo, has the capacity for up to 150 metric tonnes, fully reusable, and 250 metric tonnes, expendable.
In addition to the Starship, SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet company has been generating buzz about a potential IPO spinoff. However, Musk recently dismissed the idea of spinning off Starlink in the near future. The commercial space industry as a whole is experiencing growth, with companies like United Launch Alliance planning to launch its new Vulcan rocket later this month.
The space industry’s value reached $427.6 billion in 2022, according to a report by the Space Foundation. Meanwhile, Elon Musk has faced scrutiny for his controversial comments and the placement of IBM Corp. ads on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter. Musk denied allegations of antisemitism and emphasized his commitment to a prosperous future for all of humanity.
Overall, SpaceX’s recent achievements and future plans demonstrate the company’s prominent role in space exploration and commercial space ventures, contributing to the growth and advancement of the industry.