SpaceX engineers have been working day and night to make sure the first-generation starship rocket fires up into space, but there have been so many ups and downs, coupled with the FAA’s delay, which has made the starship project run sluggishly and discouraging.
After several years of putting in all the hard work to make this fully-stack fish-like structure lift off from the ground, finally, this new year, 2023, the Starship will have its first orbital flight that we all SpaceX fans will celebrate.
Is launching the Starship this 2023 one of those big promises which Elon use do claim on Twitter? or will the Starship finally fly into space this year? What is the progress SpaceX has made which can make us boast that the Starship will launch into space before the second quarter of this year?
It’s been over a year and a half since we’ve seen a prototype of SpaceX’s next-gen Starship spacecraft fly. Its first flight with a Super Heavy rocket has been perpetually postponed every time the company set a date to get it to launch. But Elon Musk is so much certain that the Starship must be launched this year.
Musk, currently at the helms of Tesla and Twitter, tweeted that he’s hopeful the first orbital flight of Starship could happen as soon as next month and the next mount we are talking about here is as soon as February.
Elon was tagged in a tweet made by the whole Mars Catalog. The tweet reads; January 31st first flight orbital launch? Musk replied, “We have a real shot at late February. March launch attempt appears highly likely,” he wrote. SpaceX launched a series of high-altitude Starship flights in 2020 and 2021.
A three-engine version of the ship flew into the stratosphere and tried to land several times; all but the last attempt on May 5th, 2021, ended in explosions. Shortly after that, SpaceX said it would switch gears and start making more Raptor engines, testing prototypes of Super Heavy boosters, and getting ready for the first launch of Starship into orbit.
The plan is for Starship to launch from the company’s Starbase facility in Texas on top of Super Heavy. After they separate, Super Heavy will land on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico, and Starship will make a quick trip to orbit.
The flight plan ended with delay upon delays, most of which involve the time it took for the company to get a launch license from the FAA. The company’s application had to undergo an environmental review process, which took several months.
In the end, the agency approved the mission, but SpaceX had to make many changes to its launch plan. The company still needs to secure its permit to launch the Starship, as the FAA demanded that they work on the required modification, but still, the company is continuously working on the Raptor engines and getting Super Heavy tested and ready for its first launch.
SpaceX is one of many companies that want the Starship to fly. NASA has chosen it to be one of the vehicles it would send to the moon as part of the Artemis program, which aims to get astronauts back to the moon’s surface this decade.
Even though 2022 was a year SpaceX set a new record for the Starship compared to other years. Over 60 orbital launches were done by the company. And among any of these launches, a Falcon 9 rocket was used. Musk said that SpaceX will try to launch 100 times by 2023. To do this, they will have to launch twice a week.
For almost every other launch company in the world, this is still impossible, but SpaceX can do it because its Falcon 9 rocket is very reliable and can be reused. SpaceX is already warming up to launch the falcon heavy, delivering useful instruments for the U.S. space force.
The company has decided to work through a backlog of launches involving its biggest rocket, and as a result, the Falcon Heavy will soon be ready to give the United States Space Force a ride. This decision comes after months and even years of delays.
Using the Falcon Heavy to launch a new communications satellite for the United States military as well as a second, smaller satellite carrying many payloads which will be used for an experiment, is one of the most exciting news, which places space in one of the most vital activities of the United States Military.
SpaceX has at least three more Heavy missions on its agenda for the first half of 2023, and one of these missions will launch NASA’s Psyche mission to the metal-rich asteroid. It is well in Musk’s intent to shift many Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy missions to use its upcoming mega-rocket, Starship, which is designed to be the most powerful rocket ever to take humans to the moon and Mars.
But since SpaceX is sure the Falcon Heavy will successfully carry out this launch mission without sacrificing safety, it is now being chosen as SpaceX’s pioneer rocket which will do all the cargo lifting until the Starship is up and running to take over.
The Falcon’s Heavy mission is set to take off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The centre core booster will be “expended,” meaning it will fall into the Atlantic Ocean, and the two side boosters will come in for a landing on shore at Cape Canaveral.
The landings are usually nearly simultaneous and make a pretty good show, that is if you are close to starbase to witness the launch yourself. SpaceX has also started another agenda of launching the Starlink network using the falcon 9 the next day after launching military equipment.
It will be the next routine Starlink mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, got the year off to a great start on January 3rd, 2023, when it launched its first rocket and put 114 satellites into low earth orbit.
The goal of these satellites is to help with agriculture, maritime, and radio monitoring. The 114 satellite payloads include CubeSats, microsats, picosats, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft that will be used later.
It was a launch for EOS Data Analytic or EOSDA, which will have seven agriculture satellites that will work together as a group. CEO of EOSDA Artiom Anisimov said, “This launch opens up new ways for satellite technology to change the game in agriculture.”
“EOSDA will now use its own datasets to give its clients and partners even deeper and more accurate insights.” So, at this stage in SpaceX’s rocket program, we can beat our chest that SpaceX has begun its industrial launch project for its partners, and that’s just a leap for us to see the benefits spaceflights can bring to humanity.
During the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station carrying satellites to measure greenhouse gas emissions, several devices to monitor agriculture, and 10 new Starlink internet satellites.
This mission, called Transporter-6, comes after SpaceX’s record-breaking year of more than 60 launches in 2022. This year, 2023, the company wants to do as many as 100 launches. Of course other SpaceX competitors that rivalled SpaceX did not do up to 10 launches in 2022. and that is a big blow to them.
Now they will have to embrace the fact that SpaceX is the big dog in the game of rocket launches. And other space companies have no choice but to sit and watch SpaceX fly and land on the moon. We will all think it’s a dream when this happens, but it will surely be our reality.
When the Falcon 9 launched into space in January, the sky was clear. It was the second time SpaceX tried to launch one of its Falcon 9 first stages 15 times. This rocket has already launched the GPS III-3 satellite for the US Space Force, three other commercial missions, and 10 batches of Starlink satellites.
The 114 satellites that were launched belong to operators in 23 different countries. Among them are 36 small SuperDove CubeSats that are part of the Planet’s commercial Earth-imaging constellation.
A 400-pound satellite for EOS Data Analytics, a Silicon Valley startup started by Ukrainian entrepreneur and investor Max Polyakov, was also launched during this mission. The US Space Force put a prototype cloud-imaging device into space.
The said mission and Military satellites from Norway and the Netherlands have also got to ride along. About eight and a half minutes after launch, the 230-foot-tall first-stage booster returned to Earth. It landed at Cape Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1 with sonic booms that shook the windows.
And the new Starlink satellites bring the total number of satellites in low Earth orbit to more than 3,300. SpaceX said that as of January 2023, it has more than one million subscribers on Starlink. And with this, Elon should be addressed as a powerful engineer who has not only set his own goal and beat it.
But innovates various means through all necessary tech angles so humans can live without stress. Are you convinced that SpaceX will launch the Starship into space this year?
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