By KREIG KOHL
Special to the PRESS
After a long wait it appears that Elon Musk and SpaceX are set to do test launches and continue towards their goal of a manned mission to Mars. The launches had been delayed and postponed from the Texas Starbase location due to an FAA Environment Impact Review.
This review was necessary due to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, which makes the Secretary of Transportation, currently Pete Buttigieg, responsible for regulating commercial launch and reentry sites in the United States. This responsibility includes making sure public health, safety, property safety, and national security and foreign policy of the United States are not threatened.
As of June 13 2022 the review had come back stating that the launches at Boca Chica would not create significant environmental impact, nor would it jeopardize the existence of any endangered species.
Moving forward, SpaceX is planning to test launch their large Starship vehicle in an Orbital Flight on September 30. With this test, Starship S24 is to launch on top of Super Heavy Booster 7 from Starbase, Texas. SpaceX states this will be the most powerful rocket to ever launch, boasting 17.5 million pounds of thrust and 5,000 tonnes of mass at liftoff.
This rocket would be beating out SpaceX’s previous booster, the Falcon Heavy, which, according to Technowize.com’s Ten Most Powerful Rockets Ever Built, held the record of most powerful launch at 1.7 million pounds of thrust per each of its three boosters. Comparatively, according to a report by the BBC, NASA’s most powerful rocket, newly developed and meant to send astronauts to the moon and eventually Mars, the SLS, or Space Launch System, generates 8.8 million pounds of thrust.
With this new rocket launch, SpaceX is planning to deploy more satellites to the Starlink network and then prepare Starship for reentry over the Pacific Ocean. If it manages to reenter the atmosphere successfully, then the rocket is supposed to land 100 kilometers off the coast of Hawaii.
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