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The Artemis Program

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I think both statements will be true - An SLS mission will fly before the first Starship, and SpaceX will land a manned Starship on Mars (sometime in the 2020s) long before any manned NASA mission (sometime in the 2030s).  SLS flight hardware is a lot closer to the pad than Starship flight hardware (if we're comparing like with like, the orbital Starship prototypes don't count). 

I always liked to joke that SpaceX never met a deadline it didn't miss, but Stubby Bob came together ridiculously fast, even for being a throwaway test bed.  The orbital prototypes are coming together at a similarly fast pace. 

I'm not assuming anything, though - SpaceX thought the FH would come together easily, and it wound up taking an additional 5 years to get it flying.  The individual components may work as expected, but their first orbital prototypes may uncover issues that are more difficult to solve than anticipated. 

I don't want to take anything away from the NASA and Boeing and Lockheed engineers - my issues with the SLS and Orion programs are political, not technical.  Again, good on Brindenstine for lighting a fire under the program to get it moving, but I don't think it will come to much in the end.  #ETTD.


First flight in the next 6 months (Musk timescales though!).

It's a pity Bradbury isn't around anymore to see this - looks like something straight out of "The Martian Chronicles".  Even better if the final version (mk 4 or mk 5 or whatever) actually flies to Mars. 

Anyone see the new moon suit? That's articulation around the stomach while walking is quite striking. It's not the most flattering of outfits.


Still wont be flying this year.

I still think that we'll see a Starship flight long before the SLS (Senate Launch System ;D ).

One thing that amazes me is how SpaceX is rapidly iterating design changes. The other thing is the quite "rough and ready" environment that they are building the test articles in compared to the sterile cleanroom environment that we are much more used to seeing. It really shows the SpaceX ethos


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