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SpaceX’s Musk Suggests Tweaks to Starship Following Test Flight Completion

By Jeffrey Hill | June 7, 2024

SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle (Photo by SpaceX)

Shortly after SpaceX completed its first test flight of its Starship rocket on Thursday, the company’s CEO Elon Musk outlined potential next steps for the launch vehicle in a series of posts to X (formerly Twitter).

Musk stated that after Starship sustained some minor damage during the mission and lost shielding tiles, SpaceX would augment the SX300 alloy used on Starship to withstand higher temperatures. The company is also working on a version of Starship that has its “forward flaps shifted leeward to help improve reliability and ease of manufacturing,” Musk posted.

In another post, Musk hinted that SpaceX could attempt a Starship touch down on land instead of a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico in the near future, but the SpaceX CEO has admitted he has a history of getting ahead of himself on social media. He has also recently stated that Starship will fly six times in 2024. SpaceX’s June 6 launch was its fourth ever Starship launch, with previous attempts in April 2023, November 2023, and March 2024.

Starship’s success on Thursday is a significant step forward for SpaceX in its mission to take people and cargo to the surface of the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis mission. NASA hopes the 121 meter-tall, 5,000 ton rocket will be the first to carry crewed missions to the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission back in 1972.