Spaceship launch – latest: SpaceX prepares for Mars-bound rocket test as set date

SpaceX's first orbital spacecraft stacked atop its massive Super Heavy Booster at the company's Starbase facility near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas (SpaceX)

SpaceX’s first orbital spacecraft stacked atop its massive Super Heavy Booster at the company’s Starbase facility near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas (SpaceX)

Nearly two years after the final high-altitude flight test of its Starship rocket, SpaceX is preparing to finally launch the Mars-bound craft into orbit.

SpaceX chief Elon Musk, who hopes to one day use the rocket to colonize Mars, said this week that the Starship launch “tends toward the end of the [the] third week of April”.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has designated April 17 as the prime launch date. There are also backup launch dates for April 18-22, according to the FAA’s operational plans advisory report.

The FAA said so The independent that a decision would be made once SpaceX is satisfied that it meets all necessary safety and regulatory requirements, with the last hurdle expected to be an environmental compliance review.

You can follow all the latest news and updates right here as SpaceX attempts to launch the biggest rocket the world has ever seen.

Key points

Spaceship launch: SpaceX says there will be no rehearsal this week

08:24 , Antonio Cuthbertson

SpaceX says it won’t conduct a test launch this week, but is still aiming for an orbital test flight as early as next week. It’s unclear if a trial will take place, having already completed a static fire test of both the Starship rocket and Super Heavy booster.

The only thing currently standing in the way of Starship is regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will hopefully have a decision on its environmental compliance review soon. There has never been a launch like this, which could explain the approval delays.

Spaceship launch: when will the SpaceX rocket take off?

Tuesday 11 April 2023 19:13 , Antonio Cuthbertson

Spaceship is ready for launch, Elon Musk said, only regulatory approval stands in the way.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has provided a number of updates in recent days, with the latest report suggesting the date will be April 17 or soon after.

This is the latest statement we have from the FAA:

The FAA has not established a license for the SpaceX Starship Super Heavy operation, and the planning notice from the FAA Command Center should not be interpreted as an indicator that a decision to issue a license has been made or is imminent.


Spaceship launch: how big is the SpaceX rocket?

Tuesday 11 April 2023 17:55 , Antonio Cuthbertson

Starship and its Super Heavy Booster will produce nearly double the thrust of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), which is currently the most powerful rocket ever made.

SpaceX is building such a massive rocket to achieve Musk’s goal of carrying people and cargo across the Solar System. To reach the Moon and Mars with significant payloads, Starship has been equipped with six engines, while the Super Heavy has an additional 33, producing an expected thrust of 7.25 million kg.

Here’s how its actual size compares to other massive rockets throughout history:

Hello and welcome…

Tuesday 11 April 2023 17:12 , Antonio Cuthbertson

TO The independentlive coverage of SpaceX’s preparations to launch its Starship rocket into orbit.

The largest spacecraft ever built is ready for liftoff, according to Chief Executive Elon Musk, although regulators are still performing final approval checks. A United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report listed April 17 as the prime launch date, with April 18-22 listed as backup dates.

We’ll bring you all the latest news and updates on the next generation rocket, which Musk hopes to one day use to colonize Mars.

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