Elon Musk’s SpaceX unveils ambitious plans for Starship’s first orbital flight, in which the rocket will be launched at a height of 160 feet from Texas before landing 90 minutes later off the coast of Hawaii
- A statement from the FCC revealed that SpaceX was planning its first launch into orbit
- Starship 15 will take off from Texas before making a “soft landing” near Hawaii
- SpaceX has not confirmed when the launch will take place, but has previously said it is aimed at July
The next prototype of the SpaceX Starship will be sent into orbit, launching from Texas and making a “soft ocean landing” off the coast of Hawaii, the FCC said.
The space company, owned by Elon Musk, has not confirmed when it will launch the prototype, but the submission revealed that the flight will last about 90 minutes.
SpaceX has completed a series of tests on a 160-foot-tall rocket the size of a 16-story building, with the latest, the SN15, landing on the launch pad.
The next version will be even larger, at a height of 400 feet, thanks to the Super Heavy amplifier, which will lift the spacecraft into orbit before it separates and falls back to Earth, landing in the Gulf of Mexico 20 miles from shore.
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The next prototype of the SpaceX Starship will be sent into orbit, launching from Texas and making a “soft ocean landing” off the coast of Hawaii, the FCC said. Pictured is SN15 after making a safe landing on the pad on May 5th
A map provided as part of the SpaceX declaration to the FCC shows how the Starship rocket will launch from Texas before reaching orbit
The orbital part of Starship, the part that has been tested so far, will perform a targeted motor landing after reaching orbit, descending 60 miles off the coast of Hawaii.
The FCC statement explains: “The test flight of Starship Orbital will originate from Starbase, Texas.
“The booster phase will take approximately 170 seconds off the flight. The Booster will then make a partial return and land in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles from shore.
The orbital part of Starship, the part tested so far, will make a motivated landing after reaching orbit, descending 60 miles off the coast of Hawaii
“The orbiter will continue to fly between the Straits of Florida. It will orbit until it makes a powerful, targeted landing about 100 km (~ 62 miles) off the northwest coast of Kauai in a soft ocean landing.
A year ago, Elon Musk told SpaceX employees that Starship’s progress was a top priority, with progress accelerating “drastically and immediately.”
This led to a rapid increase in the number of Starship prototypes built, often with a new prototype ready before the previous one had even been tested.
SpaceX completes a successful flight and landing of Starship SN15 in Boca Chica, Texas. Starship SN15 is an abbreviation of “serial number fifteen”
Operating from Boca Chica’s launch site in Texas, test flights range from static engine launches to launches at altitudes of up to six miles in the air and an attempt to land back on the Boca Chika launch pad.
The first time SpaceX made a landing without blasting was on May 5, when the SN15 rocket flew six miles up, then returned safely to the landing site.
The orbital flight will last just over 90 minutes, and although the exact date has not been confirmed, Musk has previously said he wants to reach orbit by July.
One of the first phases of this ambitious plan is to ensure that Starship missiles are fully usable – and the flight of the SN15 (pictured) may be the beginning. Musk estimates that to put a million people on Mars by 2025, his Starship rockets will have to fly about three flights a day.
SpaceX is working with the FCC, US Air Force, NASA and FAA on the flight to organize the safest launch time.
One of the main goals of SpaceX is to ensure that Starship rockets can be reused.
Musk estimates that to put one million people on Mars by 2025, his Starship rockets will have to fly about three flights a day and a total of 1,000 flights a year.
WHAT IS ELON MUSK’s “BFR”?
BFR (Big F *** ing Rocket), now known as Starship, will complete all missions and is smaller than those announced by Musk in 2016.
The CEO of SpaceX said the rocket would take its first trip to the red planet in 2022, carrying only cargo, followed by a manned mission in 2024, and said other SpaceX products would be “cannibalized” to pay for it.
The rocket will be partially reusable and will be able to fly directly from Earth to Mars.
Once built, Musk believes the rocket can be used to travel the Earth – saying passengers will be able to reach any place in less than an hour.