SpaceX Super Heavy with Raptor Engines for Orbital Flight This Month

The SpaceX Super Heavy booster has been loaded with Raptor engines. The Starship SN20 has most of its heat shield.

SOURCES Elon Musk, SpaceX
Written by Brian Wang,

5 thoughts on “SpaceX Super Heavy with Raptor Engines for Orbital Flight This Month”

  1. They have a lot of TPS tiles.
    Somewhere at Space X, someone has to create a TPS report to keep track of them.
    Hope they include the cover sheet to it.

  2. Much of Congress vocally hates SpaceX for threatening the Old Space companies' pork entitlements (and therefore threatening some jobs in certain districts). I wouldn't be surprised if some bureaucrats also hate them for being uppity and complaining about slow permits (you know being slow and inefficient is a bureaucrats' right.)

  3. The kicker is the environmental assessment public comment period, which is nominally a month and required by law. Can't bypass that, and they need the EA/EIS before the launch license.

  4. I've never seen a bureaucrazy need a bribe to throw up regulatory obstacles. Given even my personal realization that Boca Chica would be a rocket site, in the '60s, seems like the military in particular could just clear the path. It is obviously the place to do this.

    The main objections are *small world* enviro. I have recently seen how this attitude can reverse upon learning of O'Neill. It is sooooo beautiful to see. But also, so rare.

  5. This month if the FAA allows it. There does seem to be a battle in the shadows, between two factions in government: NASA and the military, who need Starship to be a success, and bureaucrats who are throwing up regulatory obstacles. Perhaps because they're being bribed to?

    Boca Chica has just gotten a TFR through the end of the month, but at present it's just to 5,000 feet; That's enough for pressure testing and test fires, but not flight. Of course, they can get the flight TFR on short notice… if the FAA is feeling cooperative.

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