Elon Musk Says His SpaceX Starship Is Ready To Launch To Space


As far as the boss of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter is concerned, the historic first orbital launch of humanity’s next mega-rocket is in the hands of regulators now.

We’ve been inching ever closer to blastoff of Starship and its powerful Super Heavy first stage booster in recent weeks.

On Sunday, SpaceX founder and chief engineer Elon Musk said on Twitter that “Starship is ready for launch 🚀 Awaiting regulatory approval.”

Some three-engine Starship prototypes made a series of high-altitude flights in 2020 and 2021, but we’ve never seen the vehicle liftoff under the full power of Super Heavy’s 33 Raptor engines.

SpaceX has been working to get Super Heavy and Starship ready for its first trip to space over the last few years, while the Federal Aviation Administration has also been working through a long review and permitting process since mid-2021.

This involved an environmental review and public process during which over 10,000 comments were submitted. This review had the potential to delay Starship’s orbital debut by years or even derail the whole thing. Instead, last June the FAA announced it would allow the orbital demonstration flight to move forward, but not until a list of 75 conditions were met. Presumably the company, agency and other interested parties have been working through this list ever since.

Musk seems to think that all will be worked out and a launch license will be issued by the end of next week.

“Starship launch trending towards near the end of third week of April,” he tweeted early Monday.

But the FAA issuing a launch license may not be the last word on whether or not blastoff happens this month.

Eric Berger reports that there has been some scuttlebutt about a possible lawsuit ready to be filed as soon as the launch license is issued, which could lead to a judge issuing an injunction to delay the flight.

A coalition of environmental and Native American groups filed a lawsuit earlier over restricted access to the public beach adjacent to SpaceX’s Starbase facility. That lawsuit was dismissed, but that dismissal has been appealed.

MORE FROM FORBESElon Musk ‘Guaranteeing Excitement’ For Starship Launch In Coming Weeks

If Starship does get off the ground, the plan is for it to make a short trip beyond the Karman line to orbit and to come back down for splash landing off the coast of Hawaii.

Musk has been careful to caution that the flight is a test. All but the most recent Starship high altitude flight tests ended in explosions and we certainly could see some fireworks again with the debut of Super Heavy and Starship’s first attempt at reaching microgravity.

There’s a lot riding on Starship’s success. NASA plans to use the vehicle for its upcoming Artemis moon missions and Musk has plans for the heavy lifter to transport satellites to space and eventually humans to Mars.



Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! TechnoCodex is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment