SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweets Saturday that the company has started construction on an orbital launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for missions to the Moon and Mars.
“We will soon make these real,” Musk tweeted, a day after announcing that SpaceX had started construction on an orbital launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for missions to the Moon and Mars.
“Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
NASA confirmed that SpaceX is “within the rights of their lease agreement to make launch infrastructure improvements within the boundaries of the pad,” according to a CNBC report on Friday. The agency said that it is not providing funds for the Starship launchpad.
SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to launch an un-crewed mission to Mars in 2024 and a crewed mission to the planet in 2026.
Progress on the Starship launch site comes after Musk told employees on Nov. 26 that SpaceX faces “a genuine risk of bankruptcy” due to lack of progress in developing the Raptor engines that will power the Starship rocket.
Musk said the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it seemed a few weeks ago.
“We face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year,” Musk said.
In March, the SpaceX prototype of its Starship SN11, which is being designed for an eventual trip to Mars, crashed during a test landing attempt.
In August, SpaceX said in filings with the Federal Communications Commission that it intends to use its Starship rocket as the primary vehicle to deliver spacecraft into orbit.