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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

SpaceX targets this summer for first Starship orbital flight

Elon Musk is breaking all barriers with his plans for SpaceX with its ambitions to send its Starship and Super Heavy rocket system on its first orbital flight by July 1, 2021.

There is a lot of prep work and testing done before this SpaceX dream can be achieved, it isn’t impossible to achieve the dream but it is highly unlikely that they would be able to do so in  2021. Before a launch can happen the SpaceX team will need to perfect the landing procedure for the second stage Starship rocket which will function as a spaceship that will be carrying cargo and crew of up to 100 people.

On its first two high-altitude test flights, the Starship prototypes crashed and burned after heavy landings, while the most recent test flight earlier this month saw the rocket nail its first landing before exploding in a fireball several minutes later, To compound the problems the first-stage Super Heavy rocket  has still to be built, flown, and landed.

SpaceX’s next Starship prototype, SN11, is expected to head skyward this week from its test site in Boca Chica, Texas. According to NASASpaceFlight, the team will then move straight to SN15, which will include a number of new design features. The first Super Heavy prototype, BN1, is expected to undertake ground testing only. BN2, on the other hand, should be the first Super Heavy to take flight. SpaceX has yet to offer any specific dates for the initial Super Heavy tests.

If all of the testing goes to plan — and as we have already seen, that’s a lot to expect — then SpaceX is likely to skip SN18 and SN19 production and instead prepare a first-stage BN3 Super Heavy prototype and second-stage SN20 Starship prototype “with a goal to get to orbit by July 1.”

Failing that, SpaceX is keen to achieve the same flight by the end of 2021 at the latest.

Starship will launch atop the powerful Super Heavy rocket, which will be powered by 31 Raptor engines. Once in space, Starship will use six Raptor engines for independent travel before returning to Earth. In the future, the spacecraft should have the potential to land on other planets, enabling SpaceX to deploy its reusable rocket system in deep space.

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