Starship could make its first orbital voyage in December thanks to SpaceX
The initial test orbital flight of the Starship has previously been postponed numerous times.
The first test orbital flight of the Starship might occur as soon as next month. The information was disclosed by Mark Kirasich, a senior NASA official in charge of the Artemis moon program’s development, during a live-streamed NASA Advisory Council meeting. Reuters reported that Kirasich stated NASA keeps tabs on four significant Starship flights, the first of which is scheduled to take place in the first part of December.
According to the previously disclosed plans, SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in Texas will serve as the launch site for the Starship spaceship and its Super Heavy launcher. Three minutes into the journey, the launcher will separate and splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Starship vehicle itself will enter orbit before reentering the atmosphere and landing on the ocean close to Hawaii. The test flight’s total duration is anticipated by the business to be 90 minutes.
Since the middle of 2021, SpaceX has been planning Starship’s first orbital voyage, but it kept getting postponed for various technical and legal reasons. For instance, the environmental evaluation for the launch facility owned by the space business in Boca Chica was just approved. Even so, the FAA demanded more than 75 adjustments from the corporation before approving a launch license for the site to lessen the impact of its flights on the environment.
The FAA will issue the business a launch license “only when SpaceX produces all outstanding information and the agency can fully review it,” a representative for the organization told Reuters. Before the flight, SpaceX must also carry out and pass further tests, including a static fire test of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy booster, according to SpaceNews.
The Starship’s static fire test in July went wrong when propellants under the booster caught fire. The company’s subsequent effort in August was successful, however, only one Raptor engine was ignited on the Super Heavy. Starship also needs to go through a full wet dress rehearsal, which involves a rocket that is loaded with propellants going through the launch countdown but not lifting off.