By KREIG KOHL
Special to the PRESS
Jan. 31 is scheduled to see the test launch of not only the Super Heavy Booster 7 at Starbase, Texas but also SpaceX’s Starship S24. The test is planned to be an orbital flight which will ensure the booster can lift the vehicle as well as make sure the Starship can perform an unmanned orbital rotation.
The booster boasts an impressive 17.5 million pounds of thrust as well as 5000 tonnes of mass on takeoff. After bringing Starship to near space heights, and a fourth of its orbital speed, the booster will land in the Gulf of Mexico to simulate landing on the Starship Tower Launch arms.
Starship itself will travel along a ballistic trajectory, or free fall flight, at orbital speeds. Its re-entry position is planned to be in the Pacific Ocean. If successful, then it will hit the water about 100 kilometers off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.
This launch is planned to be the largest in history and as such will have some impact on the Brownsville, Port Isabel and South Padre Island area. Launches of this sort are not worry-free, however. During a test launch earlier this year, there was an explosion that was so powerful it shook the lighthouse in Port Isabel, raising concerns about damage to the structure and other historic buildings in the area.
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