We talked about the booster SpaceX Super Heavy who was supposed to pass tests on the launch pad, now it’s the ship’s turn Starship. On July 6, the company by Elon Musk announced on Twitter that the vessel identified as Ship 24 had been transported to the launch pad of Starbase which is located in South Texas.
The Starship spacecraft was developed by SpaceX for the purpose of transport equipment and astronauts to the Moon, Mars and other deep space destinations. The launch system consists of two elements which are the Starship ship itself, and the Super Heavy booster. These two parts are both reusable, and when stacked, the whole has a height of 120 m.
So far, Starship prototypes have performed flight tests at high altitudes. Today we are waiting for very first orbital flight which will see the first use of the Super Heavy booster. With the Starship on the launch pad, we shouldn’t have to wait too long for this first flight.
The characteristics of the SpaceX rocket
For the first orbital flight, the Ship 24 spacecraft will be launched by the launcher Super Heavy Booster 7. The latter is already on the launch pad and we are waiting for it to pass the static ignition test.
Unlike early SpaceX prototypes, Ship 24 and Booster 7 both feature engines Next Generation Raptor which are much more powerful than the previous version. The Starship has 6 Raptor 2 engines while the Super Heavy has 33.
More than a license to wait
A few weeks ago, SpaceX passed an important milestone in the development of its Starship-Super Heavy rocket. The company has indeed received authorization from the FAA or Federal Aviation Administration to continue its rocket development work in South Texas. The government agency, however, demanded that SpaceX undertake 75 actions to minimize the impact of works on the population living around the base, as well as on biodiversity.
Before being able to proceed with the first orbital flight, it will also be necessary for SpaceX to obtain a launch license from the FAA.
Anyway, we can say that the first flight of the Starship-Super Heavy rocket is coming soon.