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SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy rocket returns to launch pad (photos)

The Super Heavy Booster 7 to support Starship rolls to the launch pad on Aug. 6.

The SpaceX Super Heavy rocket prototype referred to as Booster 7 rolls to the launch pad on Aug. 6.(Image credit: SpaceX/Elon Musk)

SpaceX has rolled the most recent version of its massive Super Heavy rocket back again to the launch pad.

The “Booster 7” Super Heavy rocket prototype moved to a launch pad at Starbase, SpaceX‘s South Texas facility, overnight on Friday (Aug. 5) for testing, that is apparently happening today (Aug. 8). It is possible to head to NASA Spaceflight’s YouTube stream (opens in new tab) if you need to see what’s happening live.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared the arrival milestone in tweets from Starbase on Saturday (Aug. 6). “At launch pad,” he tweeted (opens in new tab) with an image, adding, “I really like the smell of hydraulic fuel each morning.”

SpaceX is attempting to get Booster 7 and its own Starship upper-stage spacecraft ready for the program’s first-ever orbital test flight, that your company aims to launch within the next couple of months.

Photos: SpaceX lifts huge Super Heavy rocket onto launch stand

Starship carries a first-stage booster, Super Heavy, and an upper stage vehicle called Starship that’s 165 feet (50 meters) tall.

When fully stacked, Starship and Super Heavy stand 395 feet (120 m) tall, making the combination the world’s tallest rocket.SpaceX plans to utilize the stacked system to send humans and cargo to the moon for NASA, then move ahead to Mars.

Having said that, Starship has completed just a couple of high-altitude test flights up to now, and the machine hasn’t taken up to the air since May 2021.

SpaceX has been coping with hurdles both technical and regulatory. For instance, a recently issued environmental assessment by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires SpaceX to perform 75 actions to mitigate Starship’s effect on the encompassing area, that is a biodiversity hotspot.

SpaceX still requires a launch license from the FAA before sending Starship all over the world on its ambitious orbital flight, which, requires the business to address all of the environmental issues raised in the agency review.

“Environmentally friendly review should be completed alongside public safety, national security, along with other analyses before a choice on whether to grant a launch license could be made. The license application continues to be pending,” the FAA wrote (opens in new tab) of the problem on June 13.

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is really a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to greatly help others explore the universe. Elizabeth’s on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from the simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada’s Carleton University. Elizabeth can be a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got thinking about space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, but still really wants to be an astronaut someday.

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