Elon Musk Shares New Tentative Timeline For Debut Launch Of SpaceX’s Starship

SpaceX’s mega-rocket Starship will be ready for its maiden launch attempt “in a few weeks”, possibly as early as the month of April, Elon Musk has predicted.

In a tweet, Musk said the timing of the launch depended on license approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which reviewed the environmental impacts of the Starship launch from Boca Chica, Texas.

“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, the first launch attempt will be near the end of the third week of April, aka …(sic),” his tweet read. 

Starship, which is 120 meters or 394 feet tall, is made up of two components—the Super Heavy Booster (first stage) and the ship (second stage). Touted as humanity’s vehicle for the mission to Mars, the launch of the mega-rocket has been long overdue due to multiple delays over several months.

However, one should still take Musk’s prediction with a pinch of salt as he said earlier this year that SpaceX had a ‘real shot’ at launching the rocket in February. Earlier, he predicted that Starship would fly in July 2022, but this is well ahead of schedule.

SpaceX teams are gearing up for the first orbital launch of the fully reusable two-stage rocket, which will see it take off from Starbase in Boca Chica. With the entire mission lasting about 90 minutes, the Super Heavy booster will splash down a little more than 30 km from the coast in the Gulf of Mexico 170 seconds after launch.

In the second stage, the ship, on the other hand, will fly into orbit and land on the northwest coast of Kauai, about 100 km away. The plan was revealed in a May 2021 filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), CNBC reported.

While the plan is ready, the biggest hurdle at present is the launch license from the FAA. In June last year, the FAA approved SpaceX to continue the development of Starship but directed it to take a number of steps that could reduce the impact of the rocket’s powerful launch on its surroundings.

Assuming the company does what it was directed to do to obtain the license, the rocket’s immense power could prove to be another deterrent to mission success.

At the Morgan Stanley Conference on March 7, Musk said that Starship has a 50% chance of reaching orbit and that it might blow up in the first attempt. “It won’t be boring,” he said. 

Information Source: Republicworld

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