SpaceX will attempt to launch the first orbital test mission of its tremendous Starship vehicle on Monday (April 17).
For the past few days or so, SpaceX has been planning to launch the Starship on Monday. However, the company still required a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so that plan was only a guess.
It’s no longer tentative. The FAA announced the license’s approval at 5:50 p.m. EDT (2150 GMT) on Friday, April 14, concluding a review that lasted more than 500 days. Only minutes after the fact, SpaceX solidified its launch plans.
The company tweeted at 5:57 p.m. EDT (2157 GMT) on Friday, “Targeting as soon as Monday, April 17 for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas.”
Monday begins the 150-minute launch window at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT; 7 a.m. nearby Texas time). SpaceX has made it possible for you to watch the liftoff live on Space.com when it occurs. Starship consists of a 165-foot-tall (50-meter) upper-stage spacecraft and a massive first-stage booster known as Super Heavy. Both of these vehicles are powered by SpaceX’s next-generation Raptor engine, 33 for Super Heavy and six for Starship. Both of these vehicles are intended to be completely reusable.
The upcoming test flight will depart from SpaceX’s facility in South Texas, as noted in the preceding tweet. The Ship 24 upper-stage variant and a Super Heavy prototype known as Booster 7 will be involved.
Assuming all works out as expected, Supporter 7 will sprinkle down in the Bay of Mexico around 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the Texas coast something like eight minutes after takeoff. In the meantime, Ship 24 will continue to fly and complete a partial Earth-orbit before crashing into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
Starship will become the most powerful rocket ever to fly when Booster 7 and Ship 24 launch. According to SpaceX, the vehicle will produce approximately 16.5 million pounds of thrust upon liftoff, nearly twice as much as the Space Launch System megarocket, which holds the current record.
Starship is a priority for SpaceX. The giant vehicle, which is fully stacked and stands 394 feet (120 meters) tall, is believed to make it economically feasible to colonize Mars and the moon.Topics #SpaceX #Starship orbital trip