Traveling to the Moon is tough, and sending crewed spacecraft to different planets can be even tougher. One of many main challenges in deep space travel is the query of power, since, at present, spacecraft need to take all their required fuel with them once they leave Earth.
NASA desires to change that, and in a news release revealed over a dozen newly-inked partnerships with private companies, the space agency says it’s hired SpaceX to solve the problem of in-space refueling. A reliable system for refueling spacecraft without returning to Earth might give NASA an enormous advantage in the race to discover the rest of the solar system.“SpaceX will work with Glenn [Research Center] and Marshall [Space Flight Center] to advance technology wanted to switch propellant in orbit, an important step in the growth of the corporate’s Starship space vehicle,” NASA explains in the launch.
The benefits to having the ability to refuel a spacecraft while it’s in orbit around Earth are many. However, one of many greatest is dramatically increased efficiency. Escaping Earth’s gravity to get to orbit in the first place requires an unimaginable amount of power, and if a craft like a Starship may refuel in orbit, it means better flexibility and future range missions.
SpaceX’s work on this initiative gained necessarily play a significant role in the Artemis missions to the Moon, however, might show important when NASA is lastly ready to ship crewed missions to Mars and perhaps beyond.