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How SpaceX Plans to Move Starship From Cocoa Site to Kennedy Space Center

Accepted submission by upstart at 2019-08-23 01:10:06

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How SpaceX plans to move Starship from Cocoa site to Kennedy Space Center []

Starship will enter Kennedy Space Center by water next to the Vehicle Assembly Building and Launchpad 39A, according to a recently-released NASA environmental impact report.

That so-called "turn basin" is where other large rocket components have arrived at KSC by barge, including the Space Shuttle's external fuel tanks that were built in Louisiana.

At 180 feet in height, Starship will be slightly taller and wider than the shuttle's orange fuel tanks.

SpaceX has not disclosed what type of flight tests the Starship prototype will undergo once it arrives at Kennedy Space Center.

In a tweet last month, SpaceX founder Elon Musk indicated that both Starship protypes could be ready to "fly" in September or October.  

Hans Koenigmann, SpaceX vice president of mission assurance,  said Monday during an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics forum that SpaceX is planning more progressive "hops" at the Boca Chica site and plans to fly Starship "as soon as possible." But he was hesitant to put a definitive date on completion.

“They are working as fast as they can, but I still don’t know,” Koenigmann said.

Musk announced SpaceX will be providing an update on the Starship program Saturday.

Ultimately, SpaceX plans to mount Starship on the top of a large booster rocket called Super Heavy, powered by 31 Raptor enginers, creating a 400-foot-tall spacecraft. It's SpaceX’s fully reusable spacecraft designed for human and spacecraft launches to the moon and Mars.

SpaceX plans to land Starship at Landing Zone 1 and 2 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Super Heavy will touch down on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean several miles offshore.

According to the environmental impact report, SpaceX eventually plans to launch the spaceship about 24 times a year.

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