Space

SpaceX is Now Planning to Launch the First Starship into Orbit in December

By Aazam

SpaceX's giant Starship vehicle may launch on its first orbital test flight next month, but that timeline is far from a sure thing

A senior NASA official suggested that SpaceX wants to fly one of its Starship prototypes into space for the first time in December

NASA selected the giant rocket as the first crewed lunar lander for its Artemis program of moon exploration.

If everything goes according to current plan, a starship on the Artemis 3 mission will take off near the Moon's south pole in 2025 or 2026

No Starship prototype has flown since May 2021, and all of its jaunts have so far only reached a maximum altitude of 6 miles or more

SpaceX's desire to fly an orbital mission with Starship prompted a lengthy environmental review by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said this summer that SpaceX needs to take 75 steps to reduce its environmental impact on the region.

Despite SpaceX founder Elon Musk saying several times that Starship will be ready to go orbital soon.

Musk recently said the target was November - it looks like SpaceX isn't quite finished with those FAA action items.

An FAA spokesperson explained that the agency "will grant an orbital launch license only after SpaceX has provided all outstanding information."