Elon Musk is setting low expectations for SpaceX’s debut launch of Starship today

SpaceX will launch its Starship rocket system for the first time today.

This was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Elon Muskhas been licensed to test its most powerful missile system, saying it meets all safety and environmental requirements.

The Starship rocket is scheduled to take off for its first orbital test from Brownsville, TexasMonday, 8am Central Time (2pm UK Time) with the test flight window opening one hour earlier.

A live broadcast of the event should begin 45 minutes before takeoff.

However, Musk has set low expectations for the launch.

“Success if not what one should expect,” he told a private Twitter audience on Sunday evening, saying the best-case scenario would provide crucial data on how the craft ascends through space and how it returns to Earth.

“It probably won’t be successful tomorrow. It’s just a fundamentally difficult thing.”

Sitting atop a massive Super Heavy booster with an overall height of 120m, Starship is the world’s largest and most powerful missile system. Era presented for the first time in 2019.

Once up and running, it will be used to get satellites into orbit and SpaceX founder Moss he said it it will eventually take astronauts to the moon and even Mars.

The billionaire said any launch this week has only a 50% chance of success, but thinks there’s an 80% chance of reaching orbit by the end of the year.

The Super Heavy booster, which has 33 rocket motors, had a stationary test launch in Februaryand generated enough energy to reach orbit.

How will the first orbital test work?

The spacecraft would be carried skyward by a Super Heavy prototype called Booster 7 from a launch pad in Brownsville.

The second stage of the rocket system – the craft that would carry a crew of astronauts in the future – would then be deployed and complete a full orbit around the Earth, before re-entering the atmosphere and plunging into the Pacific.

Meanwhile, the first stage would be decommissioned in the Gulf of Mexico.

During the debut test flight, no landings will be attempted and there will be no satellites or people on board.

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Will it definitely launch today?

Of course there are no guarantees with space launches, given the potential for technical hiccups or weather delays, but SpaceX is aiming for 8am Central Time (2pm UK time).

The flight test window will open one hour before launch.

If not, a published notice from the FAA suggests Tuesday and Wednesday as backup dates.

The buildup and launch itself will be live streamed on the company’s website.

If, as Musk predicts, this week’s test doesn’t go to plan, there will be more later this year.

The license issued by the US flight regulator lasts for five years, within which NASA he hopes he used Starship to transport astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years through its Artemis program.

The privately funded DearMoon mission also aims to take a crew to the moon and back aboard the spaceship.

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