Musk says a $150 billion spaceship will be ready for human exploration by 2030.
But a new satellite data service may not be ready to launch until 2022.
BuzzFeed reports that the new company called Orbcomm says it is working with NASA to build a constellation of three spacecraft that will launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station in 2021.
SpaceX is already building a constellation for commercial customers, including Virgin Galactic, but Orbcomm is the only company to use SpaceX’s rocket.
It will launch in 2021, when NASA’s commercial crew program begins.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg Businessweek, Musk said in a Q&A session at the Spaceflight International conference last week that SpaceX would launch a satellite in 2021 or 2022 to provide “data and images” to a “space-based system” called Orb.
SpaceX has said it would be “unlikely” to build its own spacecraft for orbital missions.