SpaceX: Starship’s first orbital flight in March “if the latest tests are good”

Will the Starship mega-rocket ever take off? Elon Musk assures on Twitter that the launch will take place in the next few weeks, provided that the final tests prior to the take-off phase are carried out correctly.

A launch in March?

“If the remaining tests go well, we will attempt a Starship launch next month”said the multi-billionaire on the social network, Saturday, February 4, 2023, in response to a question from a user about the finalization of the project. “Success is far from certain, but excitement is guaranteed”added Elon Musk.

Although the launch of the Starship is announced by Elon Musk for March, this date could still change depending on the latest tests. For more than a year now, this takeoff has been regularly delayed. However, in recent weeks, the calendar seems to be accelerating for the American astronautical company. In January, the teams successfully loaded the rocket with fuel (nearly 5 million liters of liquid oxygen and methane). The countdown procedure was also successfully completed.

Motor testing

Among the last tests, SpaceX must test the static firing of all 33 Raptor engines of the Super Heavy stage. For now, only 14 engines have been tested simultaneously. This crucial step will allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the civil aviation agency in the United States, to consider authorization for the first outer test flight.

As a reminder, the Starship mega-rocket aims to transport heavy loads and humans for various space missions. NASA is counting in particular on the SpaceX program for its future lunar journeys. For his part, Musk aims for a manned mission to Mars, with a view to colonizing the red planet. The Starship should also significantly accelerate the orbiting of satellites from the Starlink internet constellation.

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