SpaceX unveiled the flight plan for the Starship’s first orbital test, the spacecraft it wants to go to the Moon and Mars with. The details of the takeoff were presented in the documents delivered to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday (13).
With no crew on board, Starship’s first orbital flight will take off from the company’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas (USA), powered by the Super Heavy rocket. It is worth mentioning that it will not yet be the final version of the ship, but rather a gigantic prototype like the ones being used in the tests.
About three minutes after takeoff, the 70m-high rocket will separate from the ship and return to the ground, landing at a base in the Gulf of Mexico, just over 30 km away from the coast. Meanwhile, the Starship continues its journey, passing over the Florida Strait before reaching Earth orbit.
After reaching space, the prototype will begin descent procedures, landing on an ocean platform located 100 km northwest of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. If everything goes as planned, the trip should take a total of 90 minutes.
Flight may happen in July
In the documents sent to the FCC, which serve as an authorization request to operate the communication equipment during the mission, a date is not specified for the first Starship orbital flight. There is only the suggestion that the test will take place between the 20th of June and the 20th of December this year.
Previously, Elon Musk had said that the company was preparing to launch in July, but there is still no confirmation as to the exact date. In the meantime, they are testing the spacecraft’s prototypes after the successful flight of the SN15 earlier this month, when it landed without exploding.