San Francisco, April 9 (IANS) Tech billionaire Elon Musk on Sunday said his deep-space rocket Starship is ready for lift-off from SpaceX’s launch facility in the US.
However, the first flight depends on licence approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Starship is ready for launch. Awaiting regulatory approval,” he tweeted.
The FAA has reportedly listed the rocket’s orbital test flight on April 17.
Starship is the world’s most powerful rocket and will be used to send humans to the Moon and then eventually to Mars.
Starship consists of a giant first-stage booster called Super Heavy and a 50 metres upper-stage spacecraft known as Starship.
Both stainless-steel vehicles are designed to be fully and rapidly reusable, and both are powered by SpaceX’s next-gen Raptor engine — 33 for Super Heavy and six for Starship.
Moreover, Musk recently said that there is only a 50 per cent chance that the first-ever orbital mission of SpaceX’s huge Starship vehicle will be a success.
But he also stressed that SpaceX is building multiple Starship vehicles at the South Texas site.
These will be launched in relatively quick succession over the coming months, and there’s about an 80 per cent chance one of them will reach orbit this year.