As humans grow closer to figuring out the intricacies of space travel and hyperspace, some companies are gearing towards testing the technology that will take space exploration from science fiction to reality. According to an article from The Verge, Elon Musk’s SpaceX may be launching an orbital test flight for its Starship spacecraft as soon as next week and dropped a promotional simulation video to get fans excited.
The article cites a Tweet from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirming a launch rehearsal for its Starship spacecraft’s first orbital flight test is “trending towards near the end of the third week of April.” The launch is on track pending a license from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), which has stated that it will “make a license determination only after the agency is satisfied SpaceX meets all licensing, safety and other regulatory requirements.”
SpaceX’s video dropped in the middle of April and featured a simulation of the launch in high-definition, beautifully crafted CG animation. Its epic score is reminiscent of space films like Interstellar and, bolstered by deeply resonant strings, makes the perfect soundscape for space exploration.
SpaceX’s video shows the spacecraft launching, ascending into the clouds and beyond, then propelling through deep space toward the Red Planet. It even features a scene where the explorers land on an outpost on Mars, giving viewers a glimpse of the possibilities of space travel and colonization.
The FAA had previously caused a setback and launch delays for SpaceX’s Starship last summer when it flagged that Starship’s launch would cause a negative environmental impact around its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. One of the components of the launch, a massive booster known as the Super Heavy, is the specific subject of these questions of environmental impact. According to the FAA, the Super Heavy could launch as early as April 17, with backup dates each day afterward until April 22 once the regulatory body provides the expected license.
This would be the first time that SpaceX is able to launch the Super Heavy. Upon the time of launch, the Super Heavy and Starship are scheduled to separate, with the Starship being propelled into Earth’s orbit while the Super Heavy will travel to the Gulf of Mexico. The Starship will then make its return by making a vertical landing in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.
SpaceX’s spacecraft is designed to traverse deep space, including the Moon and Mars. It is SpaceX’s flagship spacecraft and is designed to transport astronauts, cargo, and other payloads.
The recent Russian space film The Challenge was one of the first professional films to be shot in space and explored how normal professionals like surgeons, doctors, and first responders may have to prepare for the space age. Space experts are now hypothesizing what other practical applications of space travel technology will become commonplace in the next decades. SpaceX may be an even more common household name as space travel becomes a reality for more people.
Elon Musk and SpaceX are polarizing figures within the public eye. Many view the billionaire’s space exploration venture as more of a vanity project for himself and the wealthy individuals who can afford it than something viable for the majority of people. Still, the tantalizing possibilities of space travel mean that people will always be curious about the unknown that lies just outside Earth’s atmosphere.