New Space and Tech

New Report: SpaceX Starship: Design, Development and Commercial Prospects

By Keith Cowing
April 13, 2023
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New Report: SpaceX Starship: Design, Development and Commercial Prospects
Starship on the pad

It’s been the dream of space advocates for decades – reusable rockets and spacecraft that could provide safe, routine, frequent and affordable access to space. Vehicles that could launch to space, return to Earth and fly again with minimal refurbishment. In short, spacecraft and boosters with airplane-like operations that would open up space to a broad range of activities.

SpaceX’s Starship will be the largest rocket ever flown and the first launcher that is fully reusable. It will provide whole new capabilities, including the routine delivery of very heavy and voluminous payloads to orbit, fast turnaround, in-space propellant transfer and storage, and the ability to land on and return from celestial bodies. NASA has designated Starship as the vehicle to return astronauts to the lunar surface under the space agency’s Artemis program.

While Mars may be Elon Musk’s obsession, a fleet of Starships could open the floodgates to exploration and development throughout cislunar space, the asteroid belt, and beyond. The words paradigm shift and game changer are used so often that they have become cliches. In this case, they could be justified. Starship could render every other launch vehicle in the world obsolete. It could make SpaceX dominant in space and give the United States a significant lead in a growing rivalry with China for dominance on the final frontier.

Want to learn more? NewSpaceGlobal’s new report, SpaceX Starship: Design, Development and Commercial Prospects” reviews the progress made so far, existing and new markets that operational Starships can serve, and the many challenges ahead. Download it now at

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.