Only one day after the FAA announced it would allow SpaceX’s Starship to fly from Boca Chica, Elon Musk is saying the orbital flight test will be as soon s July. Hard to believe this deadline is true but who knows, anything is possible with SpaceX.
Elon Musk states Starship’s first orbital flight in July
It seems getting this approval to fly by the FAA has sparked excitement for Musk. The SpaceX CEO shared on Twitter that Starship’s orbital flight test will take place next July. This would be a poetic timeline since last year, Musk stated the orbital flight test would take place in July 2021.
This new deadline comes following the FAA’s mitigated finding of no significant impact (FONSI) on Monday. This means that the FAA will allow SpaceX to launch its Starship Super Heavy rocket from Boca Chica, but some items need to be addressed. There are over 75 different changes that SpaceX will have to work on before getting a launch permit from the FAA.
Activity down at Starbase has been busy but not as flashy as it once was with regular ship testing and flights. However, more and more Starships and Super Heavy Boosters are being produced. By July, SpaceX could easily have a flight-ready vehicle, but the question is whether the FAA will be ready to sign off on permitting the launch.
Orbital launch details
We don’t know which Starship or booster numbers will fly, but Starship 24 has been fully assembled, Musk even shared an image of it this week in the High Bay. The plan will be to launch a Starship vehicle on a Super Heavy booster from the orbital mount and then have the Starship reach a near-complete orbit. Neither the Starship nor the Super Heavy booster are planned to try landing. The booster will land off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico and Starship just off the coast of Hawaii. This would validate the launch vehicle for future, more operational flights carrying Starlink 2.0 satellites.
Second full Starship stack ready to fly by August
In a second tweet, Musk stated the second Starship stack will be ready to fly in August, then monthly flights will follow. This definitely seems more of the optimistic timeline we are used to seeing. Elon definitely wants this to happen, but if regulatory and technical requirements allow it, it is yet to be known.
However, this is very exciting to hear as we have been deprived of launches from Starbase for over a year now. Monthly flights of Starship will be amazing to see again, even from afar.