The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted SpaceX a license to launch the monstrous and revolutionary Starship spacecraft from the company’s spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas. While the license is not an “open check,” the company will have to apply before each launch, and it is still a significant landmark for SpaceX – paving the way for the launch of the heaviest and most powerful spacecraft ever built.
Launch of the premiere – already in July
The FAA license has granted the Boca Chica Starship launches more than 75 restrictions. Some of the restrictions relate to impacts on the Texas population, for example the maximum time of roadblocks per year, and some relate to environmental concerns. Thus, for example, the FAA requires SpaceX to limit light pollution during night launches due to the sea turtle population near the site, which needs to find its way to the water with the help of moonlight. Spice X is expected to meet all of these requirements.
According to the license, in the first year of the license, Spice X will be allowed to make five launches into space and five sub-orbital launches, also called “hop” (skip) experiments, which are intended, among other things, to test low-altitude takeoff and vertical landing. At the same time, SpaceX has already begun moving some of its facilities to Cape Canaveral, Florida, so it is not inconceivable that in the future we will see starship spacecraft launched from both Texas and Florida in parallel.
In light of the long-awaited license, CEO and founder of Spice X Elon Musk tweeted that the starship launch of the orbit around Earth will take place as early as next month. Orbital.
The “evolution” of the Starship experiment models in “skip” experiments (including some that exploded in the air or in an attempt to land back on the ground).
$ 20 per kilogram of cargo for orbit around the Earth
SpiceX develops the starship in order to carry people and cargo to the moon and Mars. When completed, the launch system will rise to a height of 120 meters, almost like the Peace Tower in Tel Aviv, and will be the largest and most powerful ever built.
The Starship consists of a spacecraft called Starship made of stainless steel and boasts six Raptor engines made by the company, and a super-heavy launcher called, well, “Super Heavy”, in which at least 30 such engines will be installed. Both the spacecraft and the launcher will be reusable, meaning they will take off and land in one piece, with Musk’s ultimate goal being to settle Mars with a million inhabitants by 2050. In the near future, the Starship spacecraft is scheduled to land NASA astronauts on the moon by 2025 as part of the Artemis program .
If the system proves itself, it will fundamentally change the space industry and the human ability to study the solar system. The Starship’s carrying capacity for orbit around the country will be at least 100 tons, and the versatility of the entire system will allow Spice X to launch such a spacecraft at an unprecedented price of two million dollars – or about 20 dollars per kilogram of low orbit cargo (LEO). For comparison The cost of launching a kilogram of cargo to a runway on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is $ 2,500, and $ 58,000 in a space launch system (SLS) that NASA is developing.
Pentagon: Consider using Starship for military purposes
It was recently learned that the Pentagon is also considering using Starship – in military clashes. According to a program called Rocket Cargo, the US Space Force will use a starship to move cargo and crews from any point on Earth to any other point – in less than 60 minutes. In war zones, or at points where the spacecraft cannot land, the plan is to drop the cargo from the edge of the atmosphere.