Elon Musk therefore proudly presented last night the Starship rocket and its Super Heavy first stage booster, both nested and raised to the sky on the Boca Chica base. The boss of SpaceX succinctly recalled a few orders of magnitude, in particular concerning the thrust power of the engine of the Super Heavy, which would be more than twice that of the Saturn V rocket! The visionary entrepreneur especially wanted to answer the question that was burning the lips of all the journalists present: when will the first test flight (or orbital test) of the Starship be carried out? Musk was more optimistic than reassuring on the subject, the FAA still having to give the green light (or not) at the end of this month of February.
SpaceX has already anticipated a refusal from the FAA, a refusal which would force the launch site to be relocated to Florida and would therefore delay the first launch of the Starship by up to 8 months. Still on this assumption, Starbase would then be entirely dedicated to research. Elon Musk also addressed the thorny issue of refueling the Starship in orbit (the rocket with its full tanks would be too heavy on takeoff), which would be carried out by other Starship rockets already in orbit (but then, these rockets themselves… ). This crucial “technical” point of future Starship missions will have to be resolved within the next 2 years.
One of the highlights of the presentation was a short CGI video (above) showing the launch of the Starship and the impressive recovery of the Super Heavy thruster by the huge robotic claw installed on the launch pad (and d landing at the same time).
Finally, Musk once again got on his hobbies, that of the necessary colonization of Mars knowing that the Earth would eventually become an uninhabitable planet for humans. And of course, Starship is a key piece of this rescue plan for humanity. : “Starship is able to bring a million tons to the surface of Mars and create a self-sustaining city” thus assures the American entrepreneur.