“Maybe late next month, but November seems very likely,” Musk tweeted on Wednesday. “We will have two boosters and spacecraft ready for orbital flight there, with full production piling up about one every two months,” the SpaceX founder and CEO revealed.
The Starship consists of a huge first-stage booster called the Super Heavy and a 50-meter-tall spacecraft also nicknamed the Starship. Both will be fully reusable and powered by SpaceX’s next-generation Raptor engines, with 33 for the thruster and six for the capsule.
If all goes as planned, the next orbital test flight will be performed by the Booster 7 and Ship 24 prototypes. SpaceX has been performing engine tests with both vehicles for six weeks at Starbase, the company’s facility in South Africa. South in Texas.
On Monday, for example, Booster 7 fired seven of its 33 Raptors — more than it had ever heated simultaneously — in a brief “static fire” test.
According to the website space.comit is assumed that SpaceX will continue to increase this number of static firings, eventually powering the 33 engines of Booster 7. When this happens, an orbital launch attempt is likely to be imminent.
This test flight will lift off from Starbase, sending the Ship 24 capsule on an orbital journey that will end with a dive landing in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Booster 7 is expected to drop into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas shortly after launch.
But SpaceX is working on building another launch site for Starship. The company is modifying the historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to accommodate launches of its mega-rocket, which will be the largest and most powerful spacecraft ever launched.
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