Elon Musk called the timing of Starship’s readiness for the first orbital flight

By July, SpaceX will have a prototype of the Starship spacecraft ready for space flight. This is stated in a post published by Elon Musk on his microblog on Twitter. 

Starship ready to fly

On June 13, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published the long-awaited results of the environmental assessment of the SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica. In general, the decision turned out to be favorable for the company. SpaceX will be able to carry out orbital launches from the territory of Boca Chica while fulfilling a list of 75 recommendations aimed at reducing environmental impact.

High-altitude test of the Starship prototype. Source: SpaceX

The very next day after the publication of the report, Elon Musk announced on social networks that the first bundle of the prototype of the Starship spacecraft and the Superheavy accelerator will be ready for orbital flight in July. In August, the company will receive a second prototype ready for flight. After that, SpaceX will have a ready-to-launch Starship on a monthly basis.

At the same time, it would not be superfluous to recall that Elon Musk is known for his often openly optimistic assessments of the implementation period of various projects and the readiness of space technology. And this is not the first time he has reported on the upcoming orbital test of Starship.

Secondly, even if SpaceX does receive a ready-made prototype of a new spacecraft by July, this does not mean that its flight will take place in the near future. After all, to do this, SpaceX will need to get permission to launch from the FAA, which can also take a long time. And this is not to mention the many tests and checks that the company’s engineers will have to perform. At the same time, the completion of the environmental assessment of the SpaceX spaceport still gives hope that we will indeed see a noticeable acceleration of preparations for the first orbital test of Starship.

Plan of the first orbital flight of Starship

According to the flight plan submitted by SpaceX, a bundle of Starship and a Super Heavy accelerator will be launched from the SpaceX spaceport, located near the Texas village of Boca Chica. Super Heavy will detach from the vehicle after 171 seconds after the launch. Next, the stage will perform a partial return maneuver and land in the Gulf of Mexico 32 km from the coast.

Starship in the artist’s image. Source: SpaceX

As for Starship, it will develop enough speed to enter low Earth orbit. The spacecraft will make an incomplete orbit around the Earth. In the Hawaiian Islands, it will activate the engines and enter the atmosphere. If everything goes as planned, the prototype will fall into the ocean about 100 km from the northwest coast of Kauai Island. The total duration of the flight will be 90 minutes.

Recall that Joe Biden recently wished Elon Musk good luck in flying to the Moon. For this mission, SpaceX plans to use a special modification of Starship.

According to https://www.space.com

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