Advanced Television

Musk readies Starship launch

April 12, 2023

Elon Musk says his giant Starship could make its debut flight during the third week of April. Observers suggest April 20th is a dependable target date, subject to the usual weather and technical considerations.

Work at the launch site has been happening for months and intensified over the past 10 days, with Musk saying that everything was now ready and that the SpaceX team was awaiting the Federal Aviation Commission regulatory orbital licence to fly.

The flight will happen from SpaceX’s third launch site, at Boca Chica, South Texas.

In the past Musk has admitted that the success possibility is no more than 50/50 for this, the largest rocket ever built. It stands 394 feet (120 metres) tall when fully assembled. But it’s going to get even bigger; Musk revealed recently on Twitter that  “[The] Ship will probably stretch by another 10m or so”.

Starship’s Super Heavy powerful first stage is fitted with 33 of SpaceX’s new Raptor engines, while the upper-stage spacecraft, known as Starship, sports six Raptors. Those 33 first-stage engines will generate about 16.5 million pounds of thrust at lift-off, meaning Starship will then become the most powerful rocket in history when it flies successfully for the first time. Both key elements, the Super Heavy first stage, as well as the upper Starship itself are designed to be fully reusable.

The mission plan is uncertain publicly. One plan is for the first stage booster, the Super Heavy, to make a return landing near its Texas launch site. However, other reports suggest the first stage is to be discarded. The upper Starship stage will go onto make an ocean splash-down return near Hawaii. Or not, given Musk’s 50/50 prediction…

Categories: Blogs, Broadband, Inside Satellite, Satellite

Tags: , , ,