Elon Musk's private space company, SpaceX and its Starship spacecraft is "shooting for July," says SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell.
Excited Shotwell Tells More
A report by SpaceNews said that Shotwell spoke in front of the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference on Friday, June 25.
She estimated that the first ever orbital attempt is not too far from the future that involves the Super Heavy booster, as well as the Starship upper stage at the test site in Boca Chica, Texas.
She had this to say, "I'm hoping we make it, but we all know that this is difficult ... We are really on the cusp of flying that system, or at least attempting the first orbital flight of that system, really in the very near term."
This comes as the next viable step for the space faring company as they recently completed a test flight with the SN15 with an altitude of 10 kilometers before making a landfall. A definite milestone as four tests of its prototypes met underwhelming performances between December 2020 and March 2021.
Possible Hindrances to Launch
The Starship rocket's orbital test is estimated to last for 90 minutes covering the distance from South Texas to the coast of Hawaii.
However, despite optimism from SpaceX and onlookers alike, the program has yet to receive the approval needed for the launch.
A source from CNN mentioned that the company might have to delay the mission that's scheduled for July 1 due to ongoing assessments regarding the ecosystems and wildlife possibly affected within the launch zone. The reviews need to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, on top of other things.
SpaceX only has the license that covers suborbital flights for the Starship rocket.
The reviews should state that the Starship-Super Heavy won't cause any damage to nearby wildlife and ecosystems in Boca Chica, Texas, which is a stretch to think the inspection would be completed before the said launch date.
The last time SpaceX contemplated launching the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, it was based on the original environmental study prepared in 2014. The result was that SpaceX was widely criticized by environmental groups.
More News Regarding SpaceX
The launch date has yet to be confirmed since it all hinges on the results of the reviews from the FAA.
Shotwell had this to say regarding the review possibly postponing the launch date: "I never want to predict dates because we're still in development, but very soon,"
SpaceX recently launched the most recent batch of their satellites called Starlink on May 26, and they expect global coverage once all satellites are in operation.
"Roughly six or so weeks from now we will have full global continuous coverage," the company said, further increasing the hype of what SpaceX can do for mankind's future development.
As of the time of this writing, there is still no news regarding the approval or rejection of the flight based on the on-going environmental study for the July 1 predicted launch.
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Written by Alec G.