BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — SpaceX is taking strides towards the first orbital launch of its reusable Starship spacecraft. During a dry run early Friday morning, the aerospace company stacked the Starship SN20 and Super Heavy B4 prototypes on the orbital launch pad at the Starbase facility.
SpaceX is wasting no time in preparing for the first orbital flight of their Starship and Super Heavy prototype rocket, collectively known as Starship.
Two weeks after company CEO Elon Musk made the call for several hundred employees to temporarily relocate to the area in an effort to ramp up production, the over 400ft Starship prototype has been staked on the orbital launch pad.
The fully assembled starship stood tall for a few minutes before SN20 was taken off the booster to facilitate further work that needs to be done back at the production site up the road.
Major developments this week included the fitting of six raptor engines, three regular and three vacuum raptors, on SN20, as well as its full assembly and transport to the launch pad. The Starship stacking was set to happen Thursday, but a source told ValleyCentral that high winds hindered the process.
Last week, the company rolled its 230ft booster rocket, B4, equipped with 29 raptor engines to the orbital launch pad.
Once completed, Starship will be tasked with carrying humans and cargo around the earth and to the Moon and Mars.
Amidst the rapid progress, SpaceX is still awaiting an environmental review of the new integration tower by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Because of the amount of testing still needed to be done with the prototypes, a launch is not expected until late in the year.