SpaceX's Starship rocket gets regulatory clearance for Monday test flight

This eagerly expected authorization will allow Elon Musk to carry out a crucial test flight for his aspirations in space.
Baba Tamim
Starship rocket at the launch facility.
Starship rocket at the launch facility.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given Elon Musk's SpaceX permission to fly its Starship rocket into orbit for the first time. 

SpaceX complied with all standards related to safety, the environment, policies, payload, airspace integration, and financial accountability, according to the FAA. 

"Targeting as soon as Monday, April 17 for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas," SpaceX tweeted on Saturday. 

"I still have launch PTSD from early Falcon days. My limbic system twists my guts into a knot as we get closer to launch," Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, replied in the tweet's comments.

This eagerly expected authorization will now allow the business to carry out a crucial test flight for its aspirations in space. The launch is set for Monday, April 17, and the license will be in effect for five years. 

The Starship rocket is anticipated to generate 17 million lbs of thrust, outperforming NASA's Space Launch System to become the most powerful rocket ever.

First test flight

The Starship's impending test flight is its most challenging to date. The SpaceX Starbase rocket facility in Boca Chica, Texas, will serve as the launch site for the 394-foot-tall rocket. 

The Starship, which is constructed of stainless steel and has 33 primary engines with a combined thrust of 16.7 million pounds and a lifting capacity of 250 tons, can transport 100 people to Mars. 

It will be the first launch that combines the two components of the Starship. 

The rocket's earlier iterations crashed four times after reaching the stratosphere at a distance of many miles. This time, the rocket's enormous first-stage booster will launch into space for the first time.

The rocket and spacecraft will all crash into the water during the demonstration because SpaceX won't try to land them. 

"I'm not saying it will get to orbit, but I am guaranteeing excitement. It won't be boring," said Musk during a Morgan Stanley conference. 

"I think it's got, I don't know, hopefully about a 50-percent chance of reaching orbit."

The Starship rocket will launch from a secluded location close to Boca Chica Beach on the southernmost coast of Texas. It is about 20 miles from Brownsville and is located right below South Padre Island. 

The spaceship would continue traveling east before crashing into the ground close to Hawaii, traveling over the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. 

The test flight will last 1.5 hours, and the booster will be instructed to separate and crash into the Gulf of Mexico if Starship reaches the three-minute mark after launch. 

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