NASA lays out how SpaceX will refuel Starships in low-Earth orbit

Artist's illustration of two Starships docked belly-to-belly in orbit.

Enlarge / Artist’s illustration of two Starships docked belly-to-belly in orbit. (credit score: SpaceX)

A while subsequent yr, NASA believes SpaceX will likely be able to hyperlink two Starships in orbit for an formidable refueling demonstration, a technical feat that may put the Moon inside attain.

SpaceX is beneath contract with NASA to produce two human-rated Starships for the primary two astronaut landings on the Moon by way of the company’s Artemis program, which goals to return individuals to the lunar floor for the primary time since 1972. The primary of those landings, on NASA’s Artemis III mission, is presently focused for 2026, though that is broadly seen as an formidable schedule.

Final yr, NASA awarded a contract to Blue Origin to develop its personal human-rated Blue Moon lunar lander, giving Artemis managers two choices for follow-on missions.

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