Elon Musk on Friday predicted that the Starship could make an uncrewed mission to Mars in three or 4 years.

Delivering a keynote address at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Baku, Azerbaijan via video conferencing, the billionaire said that the huge reusable rocket system has a decent chance of succeeding in its upcoming test flight, the New York Times reported.

“I think it’s sort of feasible within the next four years to do an uncrewed test landing there,” Musk was quoted as saying Clay Mowry, the president of the International Astronautical Federation.

His comments come as the Starship launch has been under the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scanner, after its first and only launch so far.

On April 20, SpaceX’s fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket completed a test flight.

Shortly after liftoff, it exploded and failed to reach orbit.

However, the blast meant the test flight was successful, according to the company.

The rocket launch reportedly spread plumes of potentially hazardous debris endangering human lives as well as habitats of animals.

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The FAA put a hold on SpaceX launches, listing 63 ‘corrective actions’.

“The final (investigation) report cites multiple root causes of the April 20, 2023, mishap and 63 corrective actions SpaceX must take to prevent mishap reoccurrence,” the regulator said in a statement in September.

Corrective actions include redesigns of vehicle hardware to prevent leaks and fires; redesign of the launch pad to increase its robustness, incorporation of additional reviews in the design process; additional analysis and testing of safety-critical systems and components including the Autonomous Flight Safety System; and the application of additional change control practices.

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On its part, SpaceX has also been making ‘well over 1,000’ changes to Starship which includes the design of Starship.

On the second flight, the engines of the second stage will also ignite before they separate from the booster, the NYT reported.

“You’re essentially blasting the top of the booster with the second-stage engines,” Musk said.

“This is actually, from a physics standpoint, the most efficient way.”