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Musk’s giant Starship likely for January launch

November 19, 2021

Elon Musk’s next-generation Starship is truly huge. Images give just an impression with humans dwarfed by the rocket. Elon Musk says its first launch could take place as soon as January provided that the scheme receives a Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) licence.

Musk was talking to delegates at National Academies’ Space Studies Board and Board on Physics and Astronomy on November 17th, and said that there could be as many as 12 flights for the rocket next year.

“We’re close to our initial orbital launch. The first orbital flight we’re hoping to do in January or February.”

However, there’s further testing to be done not least of the high-output Raptor engines. The Starship needs a total of at least 29 engines. Musk has made no secret that the first rocket with a valuable payload would likely happen in 2023.

The first test flight would see the rocket launch from Boca Chica in southern Texas and land near the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

“Nothing really like [Starship] is being developed, and I don’t think anything quite like it has been even proposed. But it has the potential to affect human destiny in a very profound way,” he told delegates.

The end plan – or plans – embrace ultra-speedy transit of passengers around the Earth in about 30 minutes or less depending on the location, or carrying a cargo of hundreds of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites or in time a trip to Mars.

But first Musk needs the FAA authorisation.

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