Since future SpaceX Starship is planned as long duration passenger spacecraft for multiplanetary transport will it have launch abort system? Also how is crew evacuation planned during interplanetary flights and how during ascent from Moon, Mars?

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    $\begingroup$ Current knowledge seems to indicate no abort/eject for crew yet. But no crew vehicle has even begun development so this is very likely to change severely as time progresses. $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Mar 3, 2020 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ youtube.com/watch?v=v6lPMFgZU5Q great video on this topic $\endgroup$
    – Stickyz
    Mar 4, 2020 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


It will almost certainly be required to have one for the terrestrial portion. Consider that both SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner have been required to have an in-flight abort test. I can't see NASA (or the forthcoming Space Command) skipping out on what are considered standard safety systems now.

Also how is crew evacuation planned during interplanetary flights and how during ascent from Moon, Mars?

This part is a bit trickier. It's easy to demand one for systems we already have, but you're talking about launching, landing and then potentially using on Mars. To date, nobody has sent something to Mars and then had it lift off again. While it would be nice to have in-flight abort here as well, that may not be feasible. None of the Apollo lunar landers had in-flight abort either.

  • $\begingroup$ If you need an abort at/leaving Mars, you are probably not leaving for a LONG while, so an abort system wouldn't really help much. Consider the Apollo LEM, which also did not have a launch abort system. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2020 at 16:21
  • $\begingroup$ Do NASA and/or Space Command have regulatory approval over this? $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2020 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble It's not entirely clear. The current regulatory laws have not kept pace, but my assumption is that if SpaceX starts shooting private folks into space, sooner or later the regulatory regime will follow. So if they're going to regulate this, my bet is it will be NASA/SC doing so. All it will take is one mishap for the American public to demand it. $\endgroup$
    – Machavity
    Mar 3, 2020 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Machavity today commercial human spaceflight is regulated by the FAA to whatever extent it is regulated. Your answer seems to be informed speculation, at best. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2020 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ I was assuming the intent of Starship was to be reliable enough not to need abort systems, much like airplanes. I dont think they want starship to be used for NASA at least at some point. $\endgroup$
    – Stickyz
    Mar 4, 2020 at 14:30

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