- SpaceX is plowing ahead with its plan to test its Starship prototype
- FCC filing show the company wants to launch the ship 12.5 miles into the air
- Elon Musk says the test could happen as soon as October
- The company could unveil the next prototype of the craft later this month
Musk hopes that eventually, Starhopper will pave the way for a craft called Starship (rendered above) meant to bring humans to Mars
The Elon Musk -owned aerospace company is requesting permission to fly Starship more than 12 miles into orbit and then land the craft back down in the same spot
SpaceX’s successful tests of Starhopper (pictured above) marked a major step for the company which had never flown the craft into the air without a tether prior to a launch in July.
A new FCC filing shows SpaceX is ready to launch into the next testing phase for its experimental spacecraft, Starship.
In the request, the Elon Musk-owned aerospace company is requesting permission to fly Starship more than 12 miles into orbit and then land the craft back down in the same spot.
The feat would mark a significant leap for the company, which recently completed a successful series of tests on Starship prototype, Starhopper, and gives new insight into just how close the company is to completing the vehicle.
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Musk has previously alluded to an event later this month which could act as the unveiling of the craft and foreshadow a test launch in October.
SpaceX employees in Texas have been hard at work building the first iteration of the craft, the MK1, while a concurrent team in Florida is also in the midst of building a similar MK2 rocket with a different design and specs.
FCC filings indicate that the company will be looking to conduct the launch out of its site in Boca Chica texas where, according to Business Insider, SpaceX was recently granted permission to expand the facility in anticipation of future launches.
The company is looking to build on a series of successful tests from Starhopper which most recently saw the craft hover more than 100 meters into the air and safely return to the launch platform.
SpaceX hopes its style of reusable rocket will mark a major breakthrough in aerospace technology that will eventually make exploration cheaper and more sustainable.
Ultimately, Musk hopes that the company’s Starship could help humans reach Mars for the first time and has set an optimistic timeline for when the experimental craft might be able to do so.
The first crewed Red Planet mission for the rocket and 100-passenger Starship could come as early as the mid-2020s if development and testing go well, Musk has said
Additional missions may even include tourists trips to the moon by 2024, according to the CEO.
Completing a successful mission to the moon would also mark an incremental step in Musk’s other vision of traveling to Mars.
The BFR (Big F***ing Rocket), now known as Starship, will complete all missions and is smaller than the ones Musk announced in 2016.
The SpaceX CEO said the rocket would take its first trip to the red planet in 2022, carrying only cargo, followed by a manned mission in 2024 and claimed other SpaceX’s products would be ‘cannibalised’ to pay for it.
The rocket would be partially reusable and capable of flight directly from Earth to Mars.
Once built, Musk believes the rocket could be used for travel on Earth – saying that passengers would be able to get anywhere in under an hour.