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SpaceX announces Starship orbital flight test schedule, releases Mission to Mars animated video in anticipation


Elon Musk’s space venture SpaceX yesterday announced that the Starship orbital flight test (OFT) would be happening as soon as next week (starting Monday 17th April 2023).

Starship’s 1st orbital flight has been an extremely anticipated event for space enthusiasts around the globe. But it has been getting delayed for one reason or the other since last year.

Just last week when Musk said that Starship is preparing for launch, a NOTAM to Mexican air space revealed possible dates between the 10th and 12th of April. But this again did not materialize and we are facing delays once again.

However, SpaceX’s official account posted a rather unusual update on Twitter hinting at a tentative schedule of next week for the Starship’s 1st orbital flight test.

SpaceX also posted a beautiful picture of Starship 24 stacked on Super Heavy Booster 7 with a rainbow in the backdrop (high res pic below).

Additionally, SpaceX stated that these tentative dates are tied with regulatory approval which is generally required from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


SpaceX also confirmed in the following official tweet that there will be no launch rehearsals taking place before the first orbital flight test. What this means is that SpaceX will not be firing any engines of Booster 7 which is currently locked onto the Orbital Launch Mount at Starbase, Boca Chica, Texas.

Also, no propellants will be loaded into either Starship 24 or Booster 7. SpaceX already conducted a successful wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and a 33-engine Booster 7 static fire test (ended in 31-engines) back in February.

So apparently, there is no need to conduct further tests and Starship is ready to go to the orbit for the first time ever.

Starship24 fully stacked on the Orbital Launch Mount, getting ready for the first orbital flight test with an expected launch window starting Monday 17th April, pending regulator approval. Credit: SpaceX / Twitter.

Starship Mission to Mars Video

Just before the first Starship orbital flight test announcement for next week, SpaceX uploaded an animated short film on its official YouTube channel. The video is titled Starship Mission to Mars which brings Elon Musk’s idea of humans becoming multiplanetary species to life on the digital screen.

The video starts at a more advanced-looking Starbase with Starship launch integration towers that look more futuristic than today.

Elon Musk’s imagination of a Starship launch and landing tower set up on Mars one day. Credit: Elon Musk via Twitter.

After taking flight from planet Earth, Starship gets refueled in orbit by another Starship that’s already in space acting as a mid-journey fueling station.

And at the end, a fleet of Starships arrives at the Mars base where humans are already living in a large dome. Starships land on multiple landing pads which are mostprobably magnetic.

Closing scene shows the door of Starship opens and humans arrive on Mars in SpaceX suits looking at the dome city of the red planet.

This animated video is a great way to create excitement in the masses for making human life multiplanetary in the future — the mission of SpaceX and Elon Musk.

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Video: Starship Mission to Mars animated short film by SpaceX.



By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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