Elon Musk shares photos of Starship preparing to be launched into orbit for the first time – .

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SpaceX is preparing to launch its Starship spacecraft on an orbital test flight, according to Elon Musk’s tweets. The private space company hopes the Starship represents the future of its space missions, taking humanity to the Moon and beyond.
But it must first go through a series of tests to make sure it is safe to launch and transport people. SpaceX has built a number of versions of the Starship – up to SN15 – but these have only attempted high-altitude test flights, at altitudes roughly similar to those of a traditional aircraft.

SpaceX is preparing to jump all the way to SN20, however, with a launch that will see it launched high enough to enter orbit. Such a launch is expected anytime starting this month.

In this test, which is expected to take place from SpaceX headquarters in Texas, Starship will be transported on its initial flight by the Super Heavy booster. This extra stage will then detach from the second stage and descend to Earth, with the aim of landing on a barge ready to be reused.

The spacecraft will then enter orbit, fly above Earth, and dive into the sea.

Mr Musk has now tweeted a slew of images showing these engines installed on the booster, to make sure it can carry Starship into space during this test, which is likely coming close.

He later posted a photo of the tightly packed raptor engines in the Super Heavy booster.

Neither Mr. Musk nor SpaceX have yet confirmed when this orbital test could take place.

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