SpaceX plans to carry out a launch rehearsal next week of Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, and its first test flight possibly the following week, the private space company said Thursday. Phys.Org reports:
SpaceX published photos of the massive Starship, which is designed to eventually send astronauts to the Moon and beyond, on its launchpad at the company’s base in Texas. “Starship fully stacked at Starbase,” SpaceX said in a tweet. “Team is working towards a launch rehearsal next week followed by Starship’s first integrated flight test ~ week later pending regulatory approval.”
SpaceX will need a green light from the Federal Aviation Administration before being allowed to carry out the orbital test launch. SpaceX conducted a successful test-firing of the 33 Raptor engines on the first-stage booster of Starship in February. The 230-foot (69-meter) Super Heavy booster was anchored to the ground during the test-firing, called a static fire, to prevent it from lifting off.