SpaceX’s Starship has a minister schedule. Planned on many missions in the years to come, it is still under development near Boca Chica in Texas. Grounded for months by the FAA, the American aviation federation, Elon Musk has just announced that he could return to service.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the businessman from Pretoria assures that Starship is ready to fly. He even announces that his ship will go into orbit “next month or in November”. A little phrase that has not gone unnoticed as the task seems complicated.
The last flight of the spaceship dates back to May 5, 2021. At the time Starship had managed to fly up to 5 kilometers in altitude before falling back to Earth without exploding. Since then, SpaceX has been working on the launcher that should be able to bring Starship into orbit.
Called Super Heavy Booster, it is a very complex object and a ground demonstration of the first floor has just taken place. For the first time, seven raptor engines ignited at the same time, with a deafening din. In its final version, Super Heavy should be able to support 33 engines on the main stage.
The FAA still hasn’t given the green light to SpaceX
But the technical problems are far from being the only obstacles to the project. The FAA is always at the center of attention. The administration gave SpaceX temporary approval in June, but the company needed to make 75 changes to get the go-ahead from the federation.
For the time being, it is impossible to know if everything is back to normal on this side. If so, then a robbery could well take place in November. Super Heavy and Starship would then take to the air together. The launcher would come to rest on a modified oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico while the spacecraft would go into orbit around the Earth before falling back and emptying into the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii.
A crucial first flight to return on time
If this first flight does take place, it will allow SpaceX engineers to blow a big blow. The success of such a mission will put the project back on track. NASA needs this test flight to confirm the use of SpaceX’s spacecraft as a landing module on the Moon during the Artemis 3 mission, still scheduled for the summer of 2025.
This mission with NASA would be a huge advertisement for SpaceX and Elon Musk. The businessman would inscribe his name forever in history. He could also see further and reach his real goal: Mars.