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SpaceX Starship orbital flight ‘highly likely’ in November, Elon Musk says

A static fire test of SpaceX Booster 7 on Monday (Sept. 19).

A seven-engine static fire test of SpaceX’s Starship Booster 7 on Sept. 19, 2022.(Image credit: Elon Musk/SpaceX)

SpaceX’s huge Starship Mars rocket could go orbital the moment the following month.

SpaceX is gearing up for the first-ever orbital test flight of Starship, the giant vehicle it’s building to take cargo and folks to the moon, Mars along with other distant destinations. And that landmark try could be coming.

“Late the following month maybe, but November seems highly likely. We shall have two boosters & ships ready for orbital flight at that time, with full stack production at roughly one every 8 weeks,” company founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter today (opens in new tab) (Sept. 21), in reaction to a follower who asked concerning the timing of the test flight.

Video: SpaceX ignites multiple engines on Starship Super Heavy for 1st time

Starship includes a huge first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) spacecraft known, redundantly, as Starship. Both elements will undoubtedly be fully reusable, and both will undoubtedly be powered by SpaceX’s next-generation Raptor engines 33 for Super Heavy and six for Starship.

If all goes in accordance with plan, the coming orbital flight test will undoubtedly be conducted by prototypes called Booster 7 and Ship 24. SpaceX has been performing engine tests with both vehicles in the last six weeks roughly at Starbase, the business’s South Texas facility. On Monday (Sept. 19), for instance, Booster 7 lit up seven of its 33 Raptors more engines than it had ever ignited simultaneously before in a short “static fire” trial.

Presumably, SpaceX will continue increasing that number in static fires ahead, eventually firing up all 33 of Booster 7’s Raptors. Once that occurs, an orbital launch try is going to be imminent.

That test flight will need faraway from Starbase, sending Ship 24 on an orbital trip which will end with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean close to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Booster 7 should come down in the Gulf coast of florida, off the Texas coast, shortly after liftoff.

But SpaceX is attempting to build out another Starship launch site aswell. The business is modifying historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to support launches of Starship, which is the biggest & most powerful rocket ever to fly.

KSC will probably welcome its first Starship boosters in the spring of 2023, Musk said in another tweet today (opens in new tab), “with vehicles initially transferred by boat from Port of Brownsville [in South Texas] to the Cape.”

Mike Wall may be the writer of “ON THE MARKET (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book concerning the seek out alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Michael Wall is really a Senior Space Writer withSpace.com (opens in new tab)and joined the team in 2010.He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been recognized to dabble in the area art beat.His book concerning the seek out alien life, “ON THE MARKET,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before learning to be a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He’s got a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To discover what his latest project is, it is possible to follow Michael on Twitter.

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