Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, tweeted on April 1 that the first orbital flight of the Starship might occur “near the end of the third week of April.”
After Musk’s earlier tweet stating that the vehicle was stacked and “ready to launch” from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, it was hoped that the test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket would occur as soon as this week. The rocket consists of the Super Heavy booster and the second-stage Starship.
A launch authorization from the FAA is required before the business can send the rocket into space. (FAA).
The FAA had projected that a flight would occur on April 10, but this was changed to April 17 in a planning notice published last week. The FAA did note, however, that the date is still subject to change pending a determination on the launch permission.
If Musk is correct and the Starship takes off on April 20 or such, it will be an amazing sight to behold.
As the gigantic 120-meter-tall vehicle lifts off, its 33 Raptor 2 engines will unleash a whopping 17 million pounds of power. That’s double the thrust of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which launched for the first time five months ago and is now the most powerful rocket in operation.
The reusable vehicle will transport humans to the moon, Mars, and beyond once the Super Heavy rocket and Starship spaceship have undergone extensive testing and certification for crewed flights.
For the Artemis III mission, scheduled for 2025, NASA and SpaceX have already agreed to utilize a modified version of the Starship to land men on the moon.
Similar to NASA’s upcoming crewed Artemis II mission, which will use the recently tested SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft, the Starship will be used to send Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and eight passengers on a flyby of the moon.
The Starship’s maiden orbital voyage is an exciting prospect. And it finally feels like it’s going to take off after years of planning and a very long wait.