Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Texas) visited SpaceX‘s Starbase and shared his thoughts in a post on Wednesday.
What Happened: “I’m excited about SpaceX’s important work—particularly their goal of returning Americans to the moon for the first time in more than 50 years,” Cruz said. The senator from Texas added that he is proud that the work is being done in Texas.
“I enjoyed meeting with SpaceX leaders today to better understand their efforts to explore space, the challenges they face, and how Congress can help,” Cruz said.
Cruz is entrusted by other Republican colleagues to lead on issues pertaining to space and science in the Senate. He is also behind the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act which allows for the development of a commercial space sector.
Why It Matters: NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended in 1972 with its Artemis program. SpaceX’s Starship is expected to carry astronauts to the surface of the moon in December 2025 on the Artemis 3 mission.
However, Starship exploded in less than four minutes after take-off during its first test launch on April 20. In late June, Musk said in a discussion with journalist Ashlee Vance that he expects the second flight test to occur in six weeks. If the timeline were to remain unchanged, Starship’s second test flight will occur this month.
Earlier this week, SpaceX conducted the static fire test on the Starship Super Heavy Booster 9 wherein it fired up its 33 Raptor engines while staying put on the launchpad. However, four of the engines shut down prematurely during the test.
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