Elon Musk: Starship is now top priority for SpaceX

Hot off the heels of their first human launch, SpaceX isn’t going to take the foot of the gas anytime soon. Next up is Starship, which is a larger vehicle that will be able to transport 6-8 people into space. SpaceX plans to use Starship for space tourism (like this billionaire who has already bought tickets), as well as eventually send humans to Mars.

Read: Watch the historic first: SpaceX launches astronauts to the ISS

In an email to employees, Elon Musk has said that SpaceX Starship is now the top priority for the company. Developing and testing the next generation spacecraft will be the company’s primary focal point for the foreseeable future.

“Please consider the top SpaceX priority (apart from anything that could reduce Dragon return risk) to be Starship,” Musk wrote in the email.

The ultimate plan for the SpaceX Starship is continual development of this new vehicle, with the goal of launching as many as 100 people at a time on missions to the moon and Mars.

Starship has been in development since 2019, at a dedicated test site in Boca Chica, Texas. It has already flown several prototypes using a model of rapid iteration. It will be a fully reusable rocket that can be configured for both crew and cargo, which SpaceX intends to replace all Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets with.

The company has raised almost $1.7 billion since the beginning of 2019. This put it valuation at around $36 billion, according to sources. It is using this money do develop three big projects. One is Starship, of course, with the others being the Crew Dragon spacecraft and its Starlink internet satellites.

In his email, Musk asked SpaceX employees to “consider spending significant time” at the Boca Chica test sight to help the development. Most of the 8,000 employees of SpaceX work at the headquarters in California or its facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida or Austin, Texas.