SpaceX could launch 1st Starship to orbit in January, Elon Musk says

If all goes according to plan, the company will attempt to fly a spaceship to space in the first half of next year.

The company is aiming for January or February for its first launch attempt, according to Musk. A number of others will follow the initial landmark leap.

"We intend to do a dozen launches next year, hopefully," Musk said during a presentation at the joint fall meeting of the Space Studies Board and Board on Physics and Astronomy, both of which are part of the U.S. National Academies. "Maybe more."
The world's tallest rocket is by SpaceX.

The first stage of Super Heavy is the main component of the system, and it is designed to be fully and rapidly re-usable. Both are powered by the same engine, six in the case of Super Heavy and 29 in the case of Starship.
This ambitious transportation system is being developed by SpaceX to get people and cargo to distant destinations.

Musk said that Starship is designed to be a generalized transport mechanism for the solar system.

The South Texas village of Boca Chica is where the "Starbase" facility is located. Vehicles with just three engines were featured in the hops, which reached a maximum altitude of about 10 kilometers.

On August 6, 2021, the company's Starbase facility in South Texas will be home to the company's first orbital spaceship, the Super Heavy Booster 4. They were 395 feet tall, taller than NASA's moon rocket. The image is from the SpaceX.

The upcoming test flight will involve a prototype called SN20, which has the full complement of six Raptors, and a 29-engine Super Heavy known as Booster 4. They will lift off from Starbase. Booster 4 will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico after liftoff, but SN20 will come down in the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

The FAA is conducting an environmental assessment of the launch activities at Starbase, so the mission could not be launched right now. FAA officials recently said that the review is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Musk said that we shouldn't expect a perfect flight.

He said there was a lot of risk associated with the first launch. I don't think it will be successful, but I think we'll make a lot of progress.

Musk said that progress will lead to a dozen launches over the course of the year, which should prove out the system enough for it to begin operational missions in 2023.

Some of the customers for Starship are already with SpaceX. The vehicle was booked by a Japanese billionaire for a flight around the moon. NASA selected the human landing system, Starship, as the initial human landing system for its Artemis program, which aims to establish a sustainable human presence on and around the moon by the end of the decade.

NASA chief Bill Nelson recently said that the first crewed Artemis moon landing will take place no earlier than 25 years from now. The agency had been working on a project.

The long-term goal of Musk's company is to colonize Mars and make humanity a multiplanet species. If we set up some propellant depots along the way to Jupiter, we could hop from Mars to the dwarf planet Ceres.

It wouldn't just be a few craft making such journeys.

In order for life to become multiplanetary, we'll need 1,000 ships, according to Musk.

It will be a challenge to scale up production to meet the demand for the engines, given that 33 will power each Super Heavy. Musk said that the company is building a factory to make lots of Starships and make lots of engines in parallel. The factory is located in Texas.

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