Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, Corp. (SpaceX) acquires the license to test Starship 24 for the 1st orbital flight test. This approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was the final big hurdle in launching Starship for the first time.
SpaceX scheduled the coming week for the Starship launch, i.e. starting Monday 17th April to find a suitable launch window (depending on weather conditions).
Since now the FAA has approved Starship’s first orbital flight, the hype of this historical event is at an all-time high across the globe.
SpaceX was granted the license for the first-ever Starship orbital launch by the FAA on April 14, 2023.
The License No. VOL 23-129 (PDF below), details the specific permissions for the Starship-Super Heavy launch scheduled for next week. A clause in the Authorization section says that this license is applicable for the first flight only, unless the FAA modifies the license later on.
On June 13, 2022 — SpaceX was granted the main environmental assessment approval by the FAA for Starship flight operations from Boca Chica, Texas. This was a long-due approval that SpaceX was finally able to acquire from the federal aviation authority of the United States.
“Targeting as soon as Monday, April 17 for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas,” SpaceX posted an update on Twitter.
The live stream of the Starship-Super Heavy launch will be available on the SpaceX website and its official YouTube channel as well (stay tuned to us for updates).
Update: SpaceX targeting ~8:00 am CT (09:00 ET) for Starship launch, watch the live stream of the event
In preparation for the Starship’s first orbital flight test, SpaceX started assembling the ship together earlier this week. In the video below by NASASpaceFlight.com, we can observe Super Heavy Booster 7 mounted on the Orbital Launch Mount (OLM) and later Starship 24 getting integrated onto it (hence full stack is achieved).
SpaceX also gave a final touch of paint to the OLM just before the weekend to recover the burn marks from the last static fire and make it look good on the launch day.
Interestingly, there were also fireworks seen in the background of Starship on Friday night. Not sure if these fireworks were by SpaceX or villagers celebrating an event at the beach.
Both Super Heavy Booster 7 and Starship 24 were also armed with the flight termination system (FTS). This system is used to destroy the rocket and the spaceship if needed in any case.
Tomorrow (Monday) is the most probable date for Starshp’s 1st orbital flight test but if delayed for any reason, SpaceX will re-attempt during the next week.
Let’s watch all these activities that were carried out last week at Starbase to prepare Starship-Super Heavy for the first launch.
Update: Elon Musk just tweeted and confirmed that the launch will be attempted tomorrow.
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- SpaceX starts rebuilding the Orbital Launch Mount at Starbase in preparation for the next Starship launch
- SpaceX Starship launch was a success despite ending in a RUD (videos, pics)
- SpaceX is opening a new Starlink manufacturing facility in Bastrop, Texas and has started hiring already
- SpaceX called off today’s Starship launch due to a 1st-stage frozen valve issue
- SpaceX targeting ~08:00 am CT for Starship liftoff, shares infographic of the launch and landing path — watch the livestream
- SpaceX gets the go-ahead from the FAA for Starship’s first orbital launch targeting Monday
- SpaceX announces Starship orbital flight test schedule, releases Mission to Mars animated video in anticipation
- Starship is preparing for launch, says Elon Musk — expected orbital flight window between 10 to 12 April