SpaceX has shared some breathtaking images of its massive Starship vehicle piled for launch at the company’s South Texas Starbase facility.
“Starship piled to capacity at Starbase. The team is preparing for a launch rehearsal the following week, followed by the first integrated flight test of the Starship a week later, pending regulatory approval “SpaceX announced via Twitter on Thursday (April 6) and shared three images of the massive rocket made of stainless steel.
The upcoming launch will mark the first-ever orbital test voyage of a Starship.
Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive officer of SpaceX, tweeted on Thursday that the launch could take place as early as the following week, pending regulatory approvals.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set a provisional launch window for SpaceX’s rocket on April 17 between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 7
SpaceX had reportedly been considering a launch as early as Monday, April 10. (1100 to 1500 GMT). According to our knowledge, the FAA has not yet issued a launch permit for the Starship flight.
The 394-foot-tall (120-meter-tall) vehicle, which consists of a Starship upper stage atop a Super Heavy precursor, will become the most potent rocket ever launched upon launch.
SpaceX’s Thursday photograph of Starship shows the rocket in the distance framed by Starbase’s Gulf Coast backdrop.
Next, a low-angle image provides a closer look at the entirely reusable rocket, which can transport up to 150 metric tons to low Earth orbit. Wednesday’s stacking of the Ship 24 upper-stage prototype atop the Booster 7 first stage is depicted in the third image, an impressive overhead view of the prototype’s apex (April 5).
SpaceX is optimistic about Starship. Even though Starship has not yet reached orbit, the company is developing a vehicle to transport passengers and cargo to the moon and Mars, and some consumers have already reserved tickets.
For instance, NASA chose Starship to be the first crewed lander for its Artemis moon-exploration program, with the first astronaut touchdown scheduled for 2025.
In addition, the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa purchased a journey around the moon on a Starship with a crew of eight artists. Dennis Tito, an American engineer and entrepreneur, intends to travel on a distinct Starship circumlunar mission with his wife and unidentified passengers. These two private Starship moon missions have not yet established launch dates.