Last Updated on 22/11/2021 by Sunaina
SpaceX’s Starship rocket is still being built in southeast Texas, with significant work being made on crucial parts like the launch tower construction and the installation of the vacuum-rated Raptor engines that will power the spacecraft once it reaches space. Elon Musk claims that it might be ready for its maiden orbital flight attempt next month if it receives the necessary regulatory approvals.
To make the effort, SpaceX will need clearance from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as it has for all of its previous test flights of Starship from its development facility outside of Brownsville, Texas. The FAA simply wants SpaceX to show that it has taken all required safety steps to guarantee that there is minimum danger in the event that something goes wrong during the launch attempts.
At this point in development, that’s not even a remote possibility: SpaceX has already seen a number of its Starship prototypes explode (or undergo ‘rapid, unplanned disassembly,’ as it’s often called in the industry) throughout the development programme. However, there have been certain achievements in starship testing, such as completing high-altitude flight tests while remaining within Earth’s atmosphere and bringing the spaceship back down for a controlled landing.
SpaceX’s next significant achievement will be to launch a fully stacked version of its Starship and Super Heavy rocket combo beyond Earth’s atmosphere and into space. According to Musk, the business is technically prepared for that step, but obtaining regulatory permission might take far longer than a month, if the FAA’s recent request for public opinions on issuing a launch licence is any indicator.
During town hall meetings this week, both fans and critics were highly loud, raising a number of problems that the FAA will have to consider and address with SpaceX before moving forward. However, the FAA might avoid addressing some of problems by giving a temporary licence for the purpose of testing and reconsidering continuing launch approvals.