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Elon Musk reveals a possible date for the Starship’s first Orbital Flight

Elon Musk claims that the first starship orbital flight might really happen in February.

Next month, if all goes according to plan, SpaceX’s enormous Starship spaceship might make its orbital debut. To help get people and things to Mars and the moon, SpaceX is working on a new spaceship called Starship.

The enormous spacecraft is composed of two reusable parts: a giant first-stage rocket called Super Heavy and an upper-stage spacecraft measuring 165 feet (50 meters) tall called Starship.

Since the beginning of the year, SpaceX has been hard at work getting ready to launch Starship, the company’s next-generation deep-space transportation system.

The company could be close to finishing out this preliminary work, which would allow Starship to take off in around six weeks.

“Late February is a realistic target for us. A launch attempt in March seems quite plausible, “Elon Musk, the CEO and creator of SpaceX, said on Twitter.

According to reports, Booster 7—a Super Heavy prototype—and Ship 24 Starship would both be used during the orbital test flight. Both models have been put through rigorous testing at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in South Texas.

There have been “static fire” testing performed on both Booster 7 and Ship 24, in which the Raptor engines were lit while the vehicles remained stationary. The Raptors on Ship 24 have been running at full power, and up to 14 of Booster 7’s 33 engines have been fired up at once.

This latter sum suggests that SpaceX still has to finish certain procedures before the orbital launch. According to Musk, Booster 7 will complete a full 33-engine static burn before taking off.

The orbital trial is going to be the Starship’s maiden test flight since May 5, 2021. On that day, a prototype Starship with three engines, designated SN15, lifted off from Starbase and flew roughly 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) into the Texas sky.

SN15 was the last Starship prototype to take off on a test flight, and it did so independently. A Super Heavy vehicle will make its first flight when Ship 24 and Booster 7 are launched.

The Starbase will serve as the departure point for the next test flight. After completing one full orbit of the planet, Ship 24 will plunge into the Pacific Ocean near Kauai, Hawaii. The seventh booster is scheduled to land in the Gulf of Mexico, not far from the Texas coast.

Source: Business Times

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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