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Oct 12, 2019

NASA shows interest in SpaceX’s Starship orbital refueling ambitions

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, space travel

If SpaceX wants its massive next-generation spacecraft to reach the moon and planets beyond, CEO Elon Musk says it’ll need to be refueled in orbit around Earth – and NASA wants to know more.

Now in the prototype and early test flight phase, Starship is a stainless steel crewed craft that will launch atop a Super Heavy booster. But because of its size and potentially heavy payloads – like dozens or hundreds of astronauts – in the future, it will need to be refueled in orbit around Earth before it begins longer voyages.

SpaceX, Musk said, is developing the technologies necessary to dock two Starships together in orbit – one without much in the way of crew or payloads – and transfer fuel to the one venturing beyond low-Earth orbit.

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