Starship Mk1 Begins Testing Phase?

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SpaceX Watchers Catch Starship Mk1″Breathing” During an Apparent Pressure Test on Monday

There’s a very good chance that SpaceX’s flagship project could be ferrying passengers to the moon in under two years. If current timelines hold up, SpaceX will send Starship to the Moon with Japanese billionaires and other rich tourists by 2021. This ambitious orbital trip and the deadline serves as the first major milestone in Elon Musk’s ultimate vision for colonization of the solar system. Of course, SpaceX isn’t the only organization trying to Moon in a hurry. While Musk and co put a seemingly relentless amount of effort into Starship, NASA is scrambling to get Artemis off the ground, too. Not to mention the fact that nearly every other spacefaring agency is trying to get back to the moon asap. But will SpaceX get there with people first? On Monday, the first “test” of the fully assembled Starship Mk1 prototype took place in Boca Chica, TX. So chances are good.

Watch the Starship Mk1 Pressure Test Here:

This video was posted by Starship enthusiast @bocachicagal (you can follow her on Twitter here) and the “breath” happens right around the 4:24 mark in the video.

A couple of months ago, When Musk revealed the fully-assembled Starship Mk1 prototype, he said they’d start testing in the next few months. Those tests will include uncrewed flight tests up to 12 miles in altitude. And Starship Mk1 is only one of two Starship prototypes. Testing on the Mk2—built at SpaceX’s Florida facility—could begin soon as well. 

Other Critical Projects

SpaceX received a lot of criticism this year for the publicity surrounding Starship. Particularly, that criticism centers on the fact that Starship seems to be succeeding while the Crew Dragon is behind schedule. Many, including NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, have called the company out for shirking its duties to the taxpayers. Despite the criticism, however, Crew Dragon appears to also be back on track. That program is designed to ferry American astronauts to and from the ISS, and we need it now. 

In the long term, however, Musk may be right to sink so much energy into Starship. After all, if he realizes his ultimate goal of creating a rapidly reusable spacecraft capable of deep-space flight, it will change the world. Beyond human spaceflight, however, successfully developing Starship will also provide enhanced cargo ferrying capabilities. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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