The largest rocket built by mankind had just been noticed from outer space. SpaceX placed a Starship spacecraft called Ship 24 on the first stage of Super Heavy (codenamed Booster 7), based at Starbase near Brownsville in south Texas. In total, the height of the Ship 24 and Booster 7 duo is about 120 meters, which makes it larger than the iconic NASA Saturn V rocket and the new Space Launch System, which recently launched the Artemis 1 mission to the Moon.
— Airbus Space (@AirbusSpace) January 12, 2023
As new images from space show, Starship is large enough to be noticed from orbit by sharp-eyed satellites. “Hey, Starship, we’re watching you from space!” – this is how the European aerospace giant Airbus commented on the image, which contained a photo of the Starship assembly taken by one of the company’s Pléiades Neo satellites.
Airbus uses two Pléiades Neo Earth spacecraft, which are capable of recognizing objects on Earth up to 30 centimeters in size from low Earth orbit. Two more Pléiades Neo satellites were supposed to ascend in December 2022, but they were lost when their Arianespace Vega C rocket failed during launch.
At the same time, SpaceX published amazing photos of Starship and the Super Heavy accelerator. These images taken on Earth show a stainless steel spacecraft and its huge Mechazilla launch tower based on Starbase, located right on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
As stated by Elon Musk, the first flight could take place in February or March 2023. The orbital test flight will be the first Starship launch in almost two years. The last launch of the spacecraft included a prototype booster with three engines called SN15, which flew about 10 kilometers in the sky over Texas in May 2021 and landed gently.
Earlier we reported that the launch of Starship would be one of the most anticipated space events of 2023.
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