- SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Starship could launch next month “if remaining tests go well.”
- The launch will determine if the reusable spaceship can carry crew on missions to the moon.
- SpaceX has a NASA contract to create a human lander as part of the Artemis program.
Elon Musk said on Saturday that SpaceX was planning to attempt to launch its reusable Starship rocket into orbit in March “if remaining tests go well.”
The SpaceX CEO’s comment came in response to a Twitter user asking if Starship was almost ready for launch.
SpaceX aims to demonstrate with the launch that Starship can carry crew on missions with NASA to “Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond,” its website states.
NASA awarded SpaceX with a contract worth close to $3 billion in 2021 to create a commercial human lander for Starship to land humans on the moon as part of its Artemis program. Two crewed missions to the moon, Artemis 3 and 4, are expected to launch in 2025 and 2027.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 4, 2023
Musk previously teased in January that it would make a launch attempt “soon” and signaled that it could be as early as the end of February or March.
The Starship test flight will launch from the Starbase spaceport site in Boca Chica, Texas, federal filings show. Its rocket booster, Super Heavy, will return to land at Starbase or in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the filings, while Starship will land in the Pacific Ocean.
SpaceX is yet to officially announce a date for its Starship launch and did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
A test of a prototype for Super Heavy last July at the Boca Chica testing facility failed as flames burst from the engines on its test pad and an explosion sounded.
After a video of the explosion was shared on Twitter, Musk tweeted: “Yeah, actually not good. Team is assessing damage.”