SpaceX is getting closer to launching the first orbital test flight of Starship. On Wednesday Starship 24 was rolled out to the launch pad at the company’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
Adorned with black heat shields and displaying a new SpaceX logo and ‘S24’ lettering, several images of Starship 24’s journey from the High Bay to the launch pad were shared on Twitter.
In one of those images we can see the booster that Starship will be lifted and stacked onto. That booster features 33 Raptor engines to go along with the 6 boosters installed on Starship 24 itself.
Ship 24 was transported to the pad at Starbase in preparation for the first orbital flight test of Starship pic.twitter.com/xm5H8wBmUx
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 6, 2022
All that power will be used to launch Starship 24 on its first orbital test flight. Based on flight plans revealed last year, Starship will take off from Texas before travelling most of the way around the world, and if it all goes smoothly it will eventually splash down in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Hawaii.
SpaceX has been waiting for this moment for a long time. The company was hoping to receive environmental approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the test flight last year. However there were a number of delays, and that approval only came last month.
That approval still required some conditions SpaceX had to meet in order to obtain a launch license, and according to a comment made by the FAA to The Washington Post, they “will make a license determination only after SpaceX provides all outstanding information and the agency can fully analyze it.”