SpaceX President Says They Are 'Shooting For July' To Conduct Starship’s First Orbital Flight Test

Evelyn Arevalo by Evelyn Arevalo June 26, 2021

SpaceX President Says They Are 'Shooting For July' To Conduct Starship’s First Orbital Flight Test

Featured Image Source: Starship Render Created By @ErcXspace via Twitter

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell participated at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) on June 25. Shotwell shared that the company aims to conduct Starship’s first orbital flight test as soon as this summer, SpaceX is “shooting for July,” Shotwell said. SpaceX has an ambitious flight plan for its debut attempt to low Earth orbit. According to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing, SpaceX plans to fly Starship from Boca Chica Beach in South Texas and land it approximately 100-kilometers in the ocean off the northwest coast of Kauai in Hawaii. SpaceX is rapidly building a launch tower to support the giant Super Heavy rocket that will propel the Starship spacecraft to orbit, pictured below.

 

Long-term, the company plans to liftoff from ocean platforms built from refurbished oil rigs. A TESMANIAN correspondent captured an aerial photo of one of the oil rigs SpaceX is transforming into a Super Heavy-class spaceport at sea, called ‘Deimos’, pictured below. The company also bought another oil rig named ‘Phobos,’ both named after Mars' moons.

During the conference on Friday, Shotwell said that SpaceX founder Chief Engineer Elon Musk aims to rapidly develop Starship to enable humans to become multi-planetary in our lifetime. However, she is aware that attempting to launch Starship to orbit Earth as soon as July will be a challenge. –“I’m hoping we make it, but we all know that this is difficult,” Shotwell said. “We are really on the cusp of flying that system, or at least attempting the first orbital flight of that system, really in the very near term. […] I don’t think that people really have even comprehended what that system is going to do,” she said. Musk “feels in a huge hurry” to develop Starship for “a sustaining capability that will take people to the Moon and Mars.”

“That means it’s not one ship every two years, right? We have to be able to fly dozens of ships during the timeframe when you can get people to Mars,” she said at the conference. Musk targets to land the first Starship on the Red Planet before the year 2026. The first uncrewed Starship mission could carry cargo to the Martian surface sometime in 2022 or 2024. 

 

 

Featured Image Source: Starship Render Created By @ErcXspace via Twitter





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