SpaceX’s towering Starship spacecraft is gearing up for its next launch attempt as early as November 17th, pending final regulatory approval.
The massive 400-foot tall Starship system could make its orbital test flight in the coming days from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in South Texas, anticipated launch will mark a major milestone for Elon Musk’s vision of developing a fully reusable rocket capable of carrying humans and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond.
The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing SpaceX’s launch license application for Starship’s orbital test flight. SpaceX on Twitter says: “Starship preparing to launch as early as November 17, pending final regulatory approval.”
SpaceX also released an exciting video showing a Starship rocket engine being hauled by the new Cybertruck. The clip demonstrates the powerful Raptor engine’s size as it dwarfs Elon Musk’s futuristic pickup truck.
Photos recently shared by NASA Deputy Administrator Pamela Melroy indicate SpaceX has manufactured around 400 Raptor rocket engines thus far, Raptor uses a complex full-flow staged combustion cycle to generate huge amounts of thrust while maximizing fuel efficiency. Ramping up reliable mass production of the intricate Raptor has been a key hurdle for Starship’s development.
On April 20th, SpaceX’s heavy-duty carrier rocket, Starship, faced an unexpected setback during its test flight, rocket disintegrated over the Gulf of Mexico, 3 minutes after launch, and exploded mid-air, failing to enter the predetermined orbit.
“Can’t wait for Starship’s orbital flight attempt. It’s gonna be epic,” said one space YouTuber.
Future Starship variants are expected to be even larger, capable of carrying over 100 tons to orbit. SpaceX ultimately wants to launch Starship missions to establish a moon base and colonize Mars.
The upcoming orbital flight test will provide valuable data to SpaceX engineers as they refine and improve Starship’s design. With Starbase launch operations ramping up, Elon Musk’s dream of rocket reusability and space exploration is becoming reality. Liftoff of the world’s most powerful rocket could be just days away.