(Washington) SpaceX announced Thursday that it plans to conduct a dress rehearsal next week for the first flight of its Starship rocket, intended to take humans to the Moon and Mars, a test flight that could take place on following week.
“Starship is complete,” the space company said in a tweet along with photos of the rocket featuring all of its stages – the first and second have so far only performed test flights separately.
“The team is working to conduct a launch rehearsal next week, followed by Starship’s first integrated test flight about a week later, pending regulatory clearances. »
SpaceX needs the green light from the US civil aviation regulator (FAA) to launch such a flight.
The company had conducted in February, on its base in Boca Chica, in the far south of Texas, an impressive test of the 33 Raptor engines of the first stage of Starship, dubbed Super Heavy and 69 meters high.
For a few seconds, in a huge roar, 31 of the 33 engines had ignited, “enough […] to reach orbit! exclaimed SpaceX boss Elon Musk on Twitter.
Only the second stage of the rocket made suborbital test flights, several of which ended in impressive explosions.
Starship was chosen by NASA to land its astronauts on the Moon during the Artemis 3 mission, which is officially scheduled to take place in 2025.
The crew of Artemis 2, which must go to the Moon and then circumvent it without landing there, will be transported by NASA’s SLS rocket, the most powerful in the world at present… while waiting for Starship.