SpaceX is preparing to test its new giant rocket for the first time.
The first true super-heavy thruster was launched from its upper pod to the launch pad at SpaceX’s Starbase base in southern Texas on Thursday (July 1). The
70-meter-tall Super Heavy is the first stage of SpaceX’s fully reusable Starship transportation system. The company is developing the system to help humans colonize Mars and other missions. On the top floor is a 165-foot (50-meter) spacecraft called a starship, whose prototype completed a 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) test flight in May.
related: SpaceX spacecraft and super-heavy rocket in the picture
SpaceX launched a full-scale super-heavy propellant from the overhead to its launch pad at its Starbase base in southern Texas on July 1, 2021. The thruster will be ground tested to help prepare for the orbital test flight of SpaceX’s interstellar transportation system. The company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk said this flight will use a different super-heavy propellant.
(Image Source: Elon Musk via Twitter)
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter on Thursday that this special super-heavy aircraft called Booster 3 will not fly. It will conduct ground tests to pave the way for its successor to launch on the Starship system’s first orbital test flight, which may take place this summer.
The flight will launch from the interstellar base. If all goes according to plan, Booster 4 will land in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the south coast of Texas. At the same time, the interstellar spacecraft elements will enter Earth’s orbit and eventually descend into the Pacific Ocean near Kauai, Hawaii. Additional test flights of the
with other super-heavy and starship prototypes may proceed relatively quickly in succession. SpaceX tends to set ambitious milestones. Musk has said that if development and testing go well, the interplanetary spacecraft may be fully operational in 2023.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Karl Tate illustration), a book on the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
SPACE.COM SPACE Senior Writer-Michael has been writing for Space.com since 2010. His book “Outside” on the search for alien life was published on November 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a PhD. Specialization in Evolutionary Biology, University of Sydney, Australia, BA from the University of Arizona, Graduate Certificate in Scientific Writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.
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