Fuel leak on Artemis 1 moon rocket may take weeks to repair, NASA says

Mar 17, 2020
This Artemis I mission may get off at some point before Christmas but who knows what similar problems keep occurring on Artemis II and III which, by the way, are each about a year apart. Also NASA repeatedly stated that the other numerous core stages of the rocket are unproven so nobody really knows if everything will function correctly once SLS gets off the ground.

In the meantime SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy rockets are getting ready to go: If something fails, they just wheel out another model from their assembly lines in Texas (and soon in Florida) in a matter of weeks. The only other thing restricting their flight schedule would be any needed investigation by the FAA which would not be the fault of SpaceX.
As far as I have heard, Starship is still just a shell with rocket motors and a guidance system that has been developed to get it to land upright, like the Falcon rockets. It still needs crew systems, including a unique elevator system, and it needs to be refueled in space. And, it has not yet demonstrated success to, in, and from orbit, much less lunar transfer and landing. It's first stage, "Super Heavy" has not yet gotten off the ground, either.

So, not clear at this point that Starship is ahead of Artemis in the overall development process.

But, I do agree that there is a clear difference in the development techniques. SpaceX is not afraid to fail during its tests, so tests things earlier and learns faster. But, NASA has a lot more experience with crews in orbit than SpaceX, although the Dragon capsule is good experience. Just remember the toilet problems with that private orbital mission, though. A backed-up toilet on the way to the moon for a 42 day trip is not a good prospect.

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