According to Elon Musk, the world’s giant rocket might conduct its first orbital flight test as early as next month. His Starship spacecraft, created to travel to Mars, achieved a significant milestone before its initial launch, bringing him one step closer to his goal.
On Monday, SpaceX completed a “wet dress rehearsal” for the vehicle at its Starbase facility in south Texas, fueling and stacking the 395-foot-tall rocket and accompanying vessel for the first time.
Although Musk has hinted that it will launch for the first time “soon,” this test is unquestionably a positive step in the right direction. But because the billionaire is known for setting unrealistic goals, the starship’s preparation for its first launch has taken months.
At Starbase, “Starship” finished its first comprehensive flight-like wet dress rehearsal. SpaceX tweeted a damp dress rehearsal video saying, “This was the first time an integrated Ship and Booster were completely loaded with more than 10 million pounds of propellant.”
“Today’s test will validate a full launch countdown sequence, as well as Starship and the orbital pad performance for flight-like operations.”
The wet dress rehearsal includes many of the processes that SpaceX engineers will carry out on launch day, including injecting liquid oxygen and liquid methane fuel into the vehicle’s Super Heavy first stage and Starship upper stage.
Thanks to its performance, the starship is still on pace to do an orbital test flight in the coming month. The company has started launching and landing prototypes of the $216 million (£189 million) starship, formerly known as the “BFR.”
Some of these launches have exploded in a flurry of flames, while others have successfully landed safely.
Despite Elon Musk declaring a year ago that a full-scale orbital test flight of this current vehicle, which includes a Super Heavy prototype named Booster 7 and the Ship 24 upper-stage variation, will probably occur in 2022, it has yet to happen.
The billionaire now asserts that a launch attempt may occur within several months, most likely in February or March.
No early than 2025, according to the Artemis missions, humans should return to the moon. At the end of the previous year, Artemis I, which launched an uncrewed spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth, was completed.
The US space agency plans to place the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface on Artemis III in 2025. As part of Artemis II, a human journey around the moon will follow it in 2024.