Written by DEPKES.ORG March 2023
Following months—if not years—of anticipation, Starship’s inaugural orbital test flight could soon be more than just a distant mirage for Elon Musk’s private space venture.
According to Ars Technica, SpaceX has transferred Starship’s Super Heavy booster onto a launch mount at the company’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, while engineers added shielding to the mount and tower to protect them against the heat produced by the upcoming liftoff of the rocket.
What’s more, and as Ars also points out, NASA appears to have tentatively booked the use of its WB-57 aircraft for April 10 and 11; the space agency would use the high-altitude vehicle to track the megarocket during launch.
Additionally, live LabPadre video coverage from earlier today shows SpaceX’s “chopsticks”—giant mechanical arms attached to the launch tower—in position to lift Starship’s upper stage and stack it on top of the first stage to fully assembly the jumbo rocket.
SpaceX has been striving to perform an orbital launch test of its megarocket since summer 2021, conducting a series of limited static fire tests of the booster’s engines.