The countdown has begun for the maiden orbital flight of SpaceX’s Starship.
SpaceX has notified the FAA that they are targeting April 10 for Starship’s orbital flight, with April 11 and April 12 as backup dates. On Tuesday, Elon Musk further stoked excitement and seemingly confirmed the date by “liking” three tweets regarding an April 10 Starship launch.
Chance of delay: Despite the anticipation, it’s likely the date could slip a couple of days, or even weeks, as SpaceX has yet to receive final FAA launch approval. Other factors that could delay the flight date include a last-minute civil litigation court injunction and, of course, day-of scrubs.
Nonetheless, SpaceX has rolled the Starship SN24 to its pad in Boca Chica, TX, Ars Technica reported, and is undergoing its final preparations to launch as soon as it receives the final go-ahead.
Great expectations: Starship is SpaceX’s next-generation launch vehicle. The fully-reusable rocket stands nearly 400 feet tall and will be capable of delivering 150 tons to orbit.
Lots of hope will be riding on board the inaugural orbital flight. The rocket is expected to drastically reduce the cost of launch in the industry while also playing an integral role in NASA’s return to the Moon as the primary lunar lander for the Artemis program.