According to documents that Elon Musk’s company filed with the FCC on Thursday, SpaceX plans to make its first test flight into orbit from Texas and land a spacecraft off the coast of an island in Hawaii.
As stated in the document, the super-heavy booster stage will launch the Starship from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas launch site. In about five minutes, this booster stage will land in the Gulf of Mexico, 32 kilometers offshore.
Meanwhile, the Starship will continue to orbit, completing nearly a full revolution around Earth, before re-entering the atmosphere over Hawaii about 90 minutes after launching from Texas. Starship will have to make a “targeted landing” in the ocean about 100 km off the northwest coast of Kauai, the northernmost Hawaiian island.
The document does not specify a specific date for Starship’s orbital flight. CEO Elon Musk and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said it could happen by the end of 2021, but an email accompanying Thursday’s filing indicated that it could happen anytime before March 1, 2022. It is also indicated that Starship will rise to an altitude of 115 km.
Last week, Elon Musk officially confirmed the first successful launch and landing of the Starship spacecraft prototype.
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