SpaceX boss Elon Musk sounded optimistic Saturday night when asked about the progress of the company’s Starship lunar lander project for NASA.
The Twitter account “Everything Artemis” asked Musk whether he expected to have Starship ready to land humans on the moon by 2024.
“Probably sooner,” Musk replied just two minutes later.
Earlier Saturday, CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz pointed out that NASA had paid $300 million to SpaceX on July 30 toward Starship, representing the agency’s most recent major allocation toward the project.
Sheetz’s post included a link to the federal USASpending.gov website, which documents government spending.
The site claimed that $439.6 million has so far been paid to SpaceX for what’s considered to be a $3 billion project.
Just three days earlier, Musk went on Twitter to defend the Starship project amid complaints from Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space organization that NASA has decided to award just one moon-lander contract for its Human Landing System (HLS) program.
Blue Origin has asserted that SpaceX received preferential treatment in receiving the NASA contract.