According to a statement yesterday by one SpaceX official, the company is now ready to launch its Superheavy #7 booster, stacked with its Starship prototype #24, on an orbital test flight, with the only remaining obstacle to launch the launch license, not yet approved by the FAA.
Speaking on a panel at the Space Mobility conference here about “rocket cargo” delivery, Gary Henry, senior advisor for national security space solutions at SpaceX, said both the Super Heavy booster and its launch pad were in good shape after the Feb. 9 test, clearing the way for an orbital launch that is still pending a Federal Aviation Administration launch license. “We had a successful hot fire, and that was really the last box to check,” he said. “The vehicle is in good shape. The pad is in good shape.”
…“Pretty much all of the prerequisites to supporting an orbital demonstration attempt here in the next month or so look good,” he said.
Henry also outlined SpaceX’s overall plans for Starship in the next year or two, beginning with a series of test/operational launches that will iron out the kinks of the rocket while simultaneously placing Starlink satellites into orbit. At the same time, development will shift to creating a Moon lander version of Starship for NASA’S Artemis program, including doing refueling tests of Starship in orbit. These test flights will also lead quickly to the three private manned flights that SpaceX already has contracts for, including two around the Moon and one in Earth orbit.
On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.
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