SpaceX last week announced that it is ready to launch the Starship spacecraft, which has been fully stacked, for its first orbital flight test. This will be after a launch rehearsal this week. Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, has confirmed launch is imminent. Launch “trending towards the end of the third week in April,” Musk tweeted Monday.
SpaceX’s long-awaited flagship spacecraft, Starship, is designed to carry astronauts and payloads into deep space, including to the Moon and Mars. It is made up of reusable parts and is paired with the Super Heavy booster to lift it off the Earth’s surfaces.
SpaceX followed up by this five-minute all CG reel Starship on Mars missions, complete with refuelling and a glimpse at Musk’s plan for an outpost there.
SpaceX’s Starship is ready for testing at its Starbase facility in Boca Chica (Texas). Starship was delayed and suffered major setbacks when the Federal Aviation Authority determined that there would be an environmental impact at the base.
The FAA license is all that’s needed to get Starship or Super Heavy off the ground. An FAA spokesperson stated that the license decision will be made only after SpaceX has been proven to meet all safety, licensing and regulatory requirements.
According to the Operations Plan Advisory of the FAA, the launch of the Super Heavy could be scheduled for April 17th with backup dates for every day thereafter through the 22nd. Sources to ArsTechnica have indicated that SpaceX is in close contact with the FAA, and that it is expected that the regulatory body will issue a license.
SpaceX could launch the Super Heavy on April 17th, which would mean that it is just one week away. This is unprecedented. The Super Heavy and Starship are expected to separate once they launch. After that, the Super Heavy will head towards the Gulf of Mexico, while Starship will travel into orbit. Starship will then return to Earth’s atmosphere shortly after and land vertically in the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii.