Space & Astronomy
SpaceX could launch Starship's first orbital test flight next week
By T.K. Randall
April 5, 2023 · 15 comments
Could Starship reach orbit next week ? Image Credit: SpaceX
Elon Musk's flagship spacecraft could be going into space within days, according to recent reports.
Measuring 50 meters long, weighing in at 120 tons and equipped with six engines - three fixed and three movable - Starship is nothing if not ambitious.
Designed to carry cargo and astronauts all the way to Mars, this next-generation spacecraft is the real deal and could see the first humans set foot on the Red Planet in the not-too-distant future.
For a while now, though, the date of Starship's inaugural orbital test flight has remained somewhat up in the air, with various technical issues and the lack of a launch license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration being among the problems keeping it firmly on the ground.
This all may be set to change next week, however, following the news that Starship could embark on its first ever orbital flight within a matter of days.
At the weekend, the spacecraft (the latest iteration of which is named Ship 24) - which sits atop a Super Heavy prototype Booster 7 - was rolled out to the launchpad at SpaceX's Starbase facility in South Texas as though it was being prepared for imminent launch.
Then on Monday, SpaceX carried out a fueling test on the booster.
Furthermore, navigational warnings have been issued for a launch between April 6th and April 12th, suggesting that it may be due to occur very soon.
Whether or not it actually does happen next week, however, remains to be seen.
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