SpaceX’s Massive Starship Rocket Orbital Test Could Happen Next Week
SpaceX’s 394-foot-tall Starship Super Heavy rocket could make a key orbital test as soon as next week, according to a Federal Aviation Administration notice.
According to the FAA notice, Starship is scheduled for launch on April 10th from Boca Chica, Texas, with April 11th and 12th as backup dates in case of any unforeseen issues before launch or during the final countdown.
In a statement to Bloomberg, the FAA said that the notice “should not be interpreted as an indicator that a determination to issue a license has been made or is forthcoming. The agency will only make a determination after SpaceX meets all safety and other regulatory requirements.”
A Reuters source said the FAA could grant SpaceX’s launch license as early as Monday. The source added the licensing process is nearing completion and could take longer due to an environmental compliance review.
The test mission will mark the first launch of the Starship atop a Super Heavy first-stage booster with 33 rocket engines. The Super Heavy booster will attempt a landing in Texas near the launch site, while Starship will attempt a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
SpaceX developed Starship to haul people and cargo to the moon, Mars, and deep space.
In mid-March, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Starship would be launched by mid-April. As of Saturday, the spacecraft appears to be positioned on the launch pad.
Don’t be fooled by the date… Ship 24 is indeed at the Launch Pad!
— Nic Ansuini (@NicAnsuini) April 1, 2023
Musk recently said the Starship test has a 50% chance of succeeding on its first orbital flight.
Wed, 04/05/2023 – 20:00