Fri, September 29, 2023

The Starship vehicle from SpaceX is ready to launch

How much SpaceX stake does Elon Musk maintain

The huge Super Heavy and Starship launch system underwent a final “flight readiness review” this past weekend. SpaceX engineers concluded that it is now prepared to conduct its first test flight. Elon Musk, the creator of SpaceX, made the decision public on Twitter early on Sunday morning. He stated that the vehicle was simply “awaiting regulatory approval” before launching.

The┬ácompany has scheduled the launch system’s flight test for April 17 at 7:00 am South Texas local time (12:00 UTC). The Super Heavy first stage and Starship upper stage should put on quite a show. Remarkably, both stages together make up the largest and most potent rocket ever built.

SpaceX and the Federal Aviation Administration have been collaborating closely to give the essential information about Starship’s operation. Besides, they promised to disclose its effects on the region around the launch site. Although sources anticipate that a launch license will be granted this week, there is no assurance that it indeed will.

On Tuesday, SpaceX will conduct one final test known as a “launch rehearsal.” The engineers plan to fuel the first and second stages of the rocket as if they were ready to launch during this test. The success of this test will give the company more assurance that it can refuel the Starship launch system. And therefore, get it ready for takeoff on the day of the real launch.

Early indications suggest that the weather at the launch location will be favorable if SpaceX chooses to take off on Monday, April 17. Certainly, the launch will take place at the Starbase facility in South Texas. Only very slight odds of rain and moderate surface breezes seem to stand in the way of the launch right now.

Approximate plan of the SpaceX test-drive launch

If everything goes according to plan during this flight test, the Super Heavy rocket will fire for a few minutes before detaching from the upper stage. Later, it shall descend safely into the Gulf of Mexico. The business will closely monitor the vehicle’s performance to determine whether SpaceX is prepared to attempt a land-based landing on subsequent flights. Just like it did with some of its early Falcon 9 rocket’s first stages.

First, the Starship’s upper stage will attempt to reach orbital velocity after separating from the Super Heavy rocket. Next, it will reenter the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. North of the Hawaiian Islands is where SpaceX intends to land Starship vertically in the water.

The only objective of this test flight is to evaluate the rockets, their engines, and the vehicles’ ability to reenter Earth’s atmosphere and land safely. This mission will require no payloads. Engineers at SpaceX are looking for information to answer a zillion questions.

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