SpaceX Looks To Send Starship To Orbit In Less Than A Week


After almost two years of waiting for Elon Musk’s Mars rocket to fly again, things are really starting to move quickly now, it seems.

The Super Heavy first stage booster section of Starship was moved to the launch site over the weekend and now the Federal Aviation Administration lists Monday, April 10 as the target launch date for Starship in its current Operations Plan Advisory for air traffic controllers.

The advisory also lists next Tuesday and Wednesday as potential backup launch dates.

Next Spaceflight lists the launch time as 8:10 a.m. Central Daylight Time on Monday, based on marine hazard zones issued for a portion of the Gulf of Mexico near the SpaceX Starbase facility in south Texas.

To be clear, the FAA has not yet issued the required launch license needed for Starship to legally blast off. But it makes sense for all involved to prepare in advance of the license actually being issued.

Anything is still possible, including delays that are a very common occurrence in the spaceflight world, but this is certainly a positive sign that we are nearing the finish line for Starship’s first trip to space.

MORE FROM FORBESStarship Rocket Moves To Launch Pad As Historic SpaceX Debut Approaches

On April 1, Musk tweeted that Starship’s launch was probably more than a few days but “hopefully not many weeks away.”

The CEO has been cautioning that things might not go perfectly during the maiden voyage, which is set to be just a short trip to orbit followed by splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

It wouldn’t be that unusual for a new rocket (this will be Super Heavy’s first flight) to suffer some sort of anomaly on the landing pad, during the first few minutes of flight, separation of the first stage, or on re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Either way, Musk has said he is “guaranteeing excitement” after the engines ignite.



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