SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, is getting closer to its goal of conquering Mars. The company is preparing for the first flight of its Starship rocket, which is critical to Musk’s Mars mission. On March 17, Musk announced that SpaceX is almost ready to launch the Starship. He also stated that the launch date would be contingent on the Federal Aviation Administration issuing a licence.
Humanity will reach Mars in your lifetime
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 6, 2022
The FAA had previously given SpaceX a difficult time testing the spacecraft last summer, submitting no less than 75 points of remarks and corrections to be made to limit the massive rocket’s environmental impact. Despite this, Musk is confident that SpaceX will be granted permission by the air and space regulator.
One day, Starship will take us to Mars https://t.co/oMrnBIiBjY
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 9, 2023
The Starship rocket is a next-generation rocket that can transport both cargo and passengers. It is meant to replace SpaceX’s current launchers as well as separate freight and manned transport systems, such as the Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9.
When it launches, the Starship will be the most powerful rocket ever launched, and it will eventually transport astronauts and supplies to the moon and possibly Mars. The spacecraft’s successful testing will pave the way for NASA to use a modified version of the Starship spacecraft to land the first woman and first person of colour on the lunar surface, a mission that could take place as early as 2025.
SpaceX will be ready to launch Starship in a few weeks, then launch timing depends on FAA license approval.
Assuming that takes a few weeks, first launch attempt will be near end of third week of April, aka …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 16, 2023
The Starship’s first launch promises to be spectacular, with the Super Heavy’s 33 Raptor engines propelling the vehicle skyward. The Starship will separate from the Super Heavy three minutes into the mission, which is expected to last 90 minutes.
Musk’s optimism contrasts with his early March pessimism when he estimated that the Starship had a 50-50 chance of reaching its destination on the first try. Given the high failure rate of new spacecraft, experts thought this warning made sense.
The successful maiden flight of the Starship would be a significant step forward for humanity, providing a super-heavy machine capable of reaching the moon and Mars while carrying tonnes of cargo. Musk’s vision of humanity conquering Mars may soon become a reality, and the world awaits the Starship’s successful launch with bated breath.