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Starship Rocket Is Top Priority Now: Elon Musk

starshiprocket june08 lt

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said Starship, the company's next-generation rocket, is now the company's top priority, according to a CNBC report.

In an email to SpaceX employees accessed by CNBC, Musk asked employees to speed up progress on Starship "dramatically and immediately." The company had successfully launched two NASA astronauts into space just a week ago.

Musk asked SpaceX employees to consider "spending significant time" in the company's Boca Chica facility in Texas to advance the Starship development.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also the chief executive of luxury electric car maker Tesla Inc.

The Starship is the company's fully reusable spacecraft design that will be powered by six Raptor engines and be used to send crew and cargo to deep-space destinations like the Moon and Mars. It is intended to launch as many as 100 people at a time on a mission.

On May 30, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and its Crew Dragon capsule carried two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, to the International Space Station or ISS. This was the first American crew launch aboard an American rocket and spacecraft since the 2011 space shuttle mission by NASA.

The Falcon 9 rocket, which is partially reusable, has launched 85 missions over the past decade and is now the most flown operational rocket in the U.S. SpaceX has been supplying cargo to the ISS since 2012.

SpaceX's focus is currently on three major projects - the Starship rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft, and the launch of the Starlink internet satellites constellation.

SpaceX also plans to launch commercial payloads using Starship in 2021. The rocket's prototype was unveiled last year, but SpaceX has not yet commenced flight testing of the latest design.

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