Elon Musk Announces Launch Date for Starship

Sharon Renee Universal /
Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Elon Musk has big plans for space travel: the SpaceX founder recently opened up about his latest flight set to take orbit in space. From the upcoming launch date to the history-making mission it'll call for, here's what we know about Starship's future plans...

elon musk spacex news
Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, November 17, Musk took to the National Academies’ Space Studies Board and Board on Physics and Astronomy's latest meeting to give an update on Starship's upcoming launch: according to the SpaceX innovator, it's actually much sooner than we may have anticipated. "We’re close to our initial orbital launch," he proudly revealed. But that's not all he said.

elon musk space flight
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for E3/Entertainment Software Association

According to Musk, his aerospace company is in the final stages of preparations at the vehicle's launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. And if things go according to plan? Starship's first orbital flight will take off in a matter of months. "In January or perhaps February," the founder predicted. But the truth is that his guess is as good as ours. And perhaps with good reason...

elon musk space news
Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

"There’s a lot of risk associated with this first launch," Musk explained. "So I would not say that it is likely to be successful, but I think we’ll make a lot of progress," he assured. While Starship's ability to complete a full orbit is still up in the air, SpaceX is "confident we’ll get there next year, and we intend to have a high flight rate next year." As for what that'll look like, exactly?

spacex space travel news
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

As Musk vowed, Starlink will attempt over a dozen launches within the upcoming year. Then again, it all depends on the engine's productivity level: "The engine build rate is currently the biggest constraint on how many vehicles we can make," he explained. That being said, once the launches are successful, space travel as we know it will never be the same. But don't take our word for it...

elon musk spacex launch
PHILIP PACHECO/AFP via Getty Images

"This is a very profound vehicle," Musk assured of Starship. "Nothing really like it is being developed, and I don’t think anything quite like it has been even proposed. But it has the potential to affect human destiny in a very profound way."