The Starship Prototype Rocket SN15 stands on the company’s launch pad in Bocachica, Texas.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is “shooting for July” to begin the first orbital space flight of the Starship rocket, Gwynne Shotwell said Friday.
“We want to get it done, but everyone knows it’s difficult,” Shotwell told the National Space Association’s Virtual International Space Exploration Conference.
“We are really trying to fly the system, or at least the first orbital flight of the system, really in the very near future,” Shotwell added.
SpaceX has made multiple short test flights of Starship prototypes over the past year, and reaching orbit represents the next step in testing a rocket. In May, the company announced a flight plan aimed at flying off the coast of Hawaii, departing from its facility in Texas.
The Starship prototype is about 160 feet high, about the size of a 16-story building, and made of stainless steel. This represents an early version of the rocket Musk announced in 2019. The rocket will initially be launched in a “super heavy”. A booster that constitutes the lower half of the rocket and is approximately 230 feet high. Combined with Starship and Super Heavy, the height when stacked for launch is about 400 feet.
The company is developing a starship to launch cargo and people on missions to the Moon and Mars.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are partially reusable, but Mask’s goal is to make Starship completely reusable. This assumes a rocket similar to a commercial aircraft, with a short turnaround time between flights where the main cost is fuel only.
“I don’t think people really understand what the system does,” Schottwell said.
She emphasized that Musk was “very in a hurry” to develop Starship and create “sustainability to bring people to the Moon and Mars.”
“That means it’s not one ship every two years, right? You have to be able to fly dozens of ships during the time frame that can bring people to Mars.” Shotwell added.
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This Article firstly Publish on texasnewstoday.com