SpaceX Prepares For Starship Launch Rehearsal and Orbital Test Flight

SpaceX is gearing up for a major launch rehearsal of its Starship rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built, with its first orbital test flight expected to take place in the following weeks, pending regulatory approval.

SapceX took to Twitter to share pictures of the massive Starship on its launchpad at its base in Texas on Thursday, along with an official timeline of when we can expect to see the orbital test flight.

SpaceX needs to obtain regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration before the test flight can be carried out. NASA has already picked Starship to ferry astronauts to the Moon as part of the Artemis III mission, scheduled for 2025 at the earliest.

However, the US space agency plans to take astronauts up to lunar orbit itself in November 2024 using its own heavy rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), which has been in development for more than a decade.

Starship is currently the most powerful rocket in existence, and is significantly more powerful than SLS. Thanks to 33 Raptor 2 engines it can generate 17 million pounds of thrust, a figure that is more than double the Saturn V rockets that were used to send Apollo astronauts to the Moon.

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