SpaceX aims to launch the Starship in March, according to Elon Musk

The first orbital flight of the Starship ship is SpaceX’s great outstanding debt, but Elon Musk is confident that he will soon pay it off. In fact, the tycoon indicated on Twitter that the aerospace firm aims to complete it next March, if there are no inconveniences.

Details regarding the plan are nil, but the company has spent the past few weeks polishing the remaining details to bring it to fruition. Thus, today the Starship seems to be closer than ever to taking off for its first (and delayed) orbital flight.

“If the remaining tests go well, we will attempt a Starship launch next month,” Elon Musk explained. On twitter. Logically, there are still several weeks to go, so it is not yet a guarantee that we will see the Raptor engines that power the Super Heavy ignite. Any change in weather conditions for the launch window or a minuscule failure may force a rescheduling of takeoff. As shown, what happened with NASA’s Artemis I mission is enough.

If SpaceX completes the first orbital flight of the Starship, it will be the completion of a test that has been delayed for more than a year. The original plans for the mission became known in May 2021, while Elon Musk assured in August of that year that the ship was “a few weeks” away from being ready for takeoff. However, things got drastically complicated in the following months.

In November 2021, the tycoon promised that the Starship’s orbital flight would take place in early 2022. But a few weeks later, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forced the launch to be postponed for environmental reasons. And it was not until June of last year that the aforementioned body gave the green light for the test, although under certain conditions. SpaceX had to make a commitment to make 75 modifications to its spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, to get the go-ahead.

Starship would be closer than ever to completing its first orbital flight

In January of this year, the company finally shared photos of the Starship and the Super Heavy rocket assembled in the Mechazilla tower. A direct sign that the ship is almost ready to face a momentous test; not only for the future of SpaceX, but also for space exploration to the Moon, Mars, and perhaps beyond.

Let’s remember that the moon landing module that will take humans back to the lunar surface in the Artemis program will be based on the Starship. Today, SpaceX and NASA enjoy a relationship that is going through its prime, despite some concern from the US space agency about potential distractions from Elon Musk.

A short time ago, the aerospace firm signed an extension of the contract already in force with NASA. It will bring about 1,150 million dollars more to those led by Gwynne Shotwell and will keep them linked until at least 2027. This implies an alliance until the Artemis IV mission, at least.

Elon Musk’s ambitious plans

Capture the Flag - SpaceX - Obama - Starlink - Elon Musk

Regardless of what happens with its collaboration with NASA, SpaceX has ambitious plans for the Starship on its own terms. Elon Musk said in December 2021 that he believed humanity could reach Mars in 5 years, or 10 years “at worst.” In any case, achieving it would not only require solving fundamental aspects of engineering, but also economics.

“Starship is the most complex and advanced rocket ever made. The fundamental optimization of Starship is to minimize the cost per ton to orbit and, ultimately, the cost per ton to reach the surface of Mars,” he explained at the time.

If Starship meets the goal of making its first orbital flight in March, it will be a major breakthrough for SpaceX. The path that both the ship and the Super Heavy rocket must travel is still very long, and is tied to any future plan that Elon Musk puts forth. Let’s not forget that the company is also developing ocean spaceports on two former oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, ahead of upcoming launches of its reusable rockets.

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