SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses when he arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer Awards in Berlin on December 1, 2020.

Britta Pedersen | AFP | Getty Images

Elon Musk believes SpaceX can help NASA achieve their goal of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024, an ambitious goal for both the space agency and the company.

“I think that can be done,” Musk said Friday after SpaceX launched the Crew 2 mission into orbit.

“We’re more likely to strive for it, but I think it can actually be done,” he added. “We’re probably building a lot of missiles [will] Crash a few of them, but I think it will happen. “

SpaceX won a $ 2.9 billion contract from NASA last week under the agency’s Human Landing Systems (HLS) program.

Starship’s SN11 prototype rocket is on the launchpad at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas facility.

SpaceX

Under the contract, Musk will build a variation on its Starship rocket, the prototype of which SpaceX has tested at its development facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The company has had several successful Starship test flights to date, although attempts to land after the last four soaring have resulted in a multitude of fiery explosions.

NASA’s Artemis program, announced by the administration of President Donald Trump and expected to continue under President Joe Biden, consists of several missions to the orbit and surface of the moon over the coming years.

Musk said that “it is a great honor to be selected by NASA to bring people back to the moon,” emphasizing his company’s vision of making regular flights to the lunar body and beyond.

“It’s been almost half a century since humans were last on the moon. It’s too long, we have to go back there and have a permanent base on the moon – again like a large permanently manned base on the moon. And then build a city on Mars to become a space civilization, a multi-planetary species, “Musk said. “We don’t want to be one of these individual planetary types, we want to be a multi-planetary type.”

Musk previously estimated that Starship would cost around $ 5 billion to fully develop, although SpaceX has not yet disclosed how much it has spent on the program. On Friday, Musk noted that the HLS contract win is “really helpful” as Starship’s development “has been largely in-house funded so far and is quite expensive.”

“It’s hard to build a vehicle because we’re trying to crack this nut of a fast and fully reusable missile,” said Musk. “But what is really important to revolutionize space is a quickly reusable missile that is also reliable.”