SpaceX, the American space company of Elon Musk, will launch the first test flight of the mega-rocket Starship this afternoon. With a size of 120 meters, the Starship is the giant rocket ever. She intends to serve in space missions to the moon and Mars.
The 2.5-hour launch window opened today at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. UK time)
In principle, the rocket is entirely reusable. But during this first test flight, it is not the intention that the parts will be reused. Instead, the rocket’s two stages, Starship and Super Heavy will also crash into the ocean.
On Friday, SpaceX received the green light from the United States Aviation Authority (FAA). That license is valid for five years.
Elon Musk tempered expectations on Sunday night for the Starship system, designed to have nearly double the thrust of any rocket in history.
“No success should be expected,” he said, adding that his team wants to collect data on how the craft ascended to space and returned to Earth. “Maybe tomorrow won’t be a success,” Musk said. “It’s just a challenging thing fundamentally.” The wind could also delay the launch.
Unlike NASA, which tries to avoid risk, SpaceX has previously shown itself willing to explode in test flights. According to Musk, the space company would benefit from understanding what is going wrong. Additional missiles are already being made for future test flights.