The Super Heavy booster will attempt a landing in Texas near its launch site.

SpaceX, the space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, is set to conduct the maiden orbital flight of its Starship vehicle, which it hopes will one day carry humans to Mars. This will be a significant milestone for the company, which has been developing the spacecraft for several years.

The Starship is a reusable spacecraft designed to carry up to 100 people and large amounts of cargo to deep space destinations such as Mars. It consists of two parts: the Super Heavy rocket, which will provide the initial thrust needed to reach orbit, and the Starship spacecraft, which will travel to its destination and then return to Earth.

According to SpaceX, the maiden orbital flight of the Starship is scheduled to take place later this year, although the exact date has not been announced. The flight will be an unmanned test flight, which will allow the company to test the vehicle’s performance and gather data to inform future flights.

This flight will be an important step towards realizing Musk’s long-term vision of making humanity a multi-planetary species. “The goal of SpaceX is to help humanity become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planetary species,” Musk said in a recent interview.

The development of the Starship has not been without challenges. In November 2020, a prototype of the spacecraft exploded during a test flight. However, the company has continued to refine and improve the design of the vehicle, and the upcoming maiden orbital flight is a testament to its commitment to space exploration.

If successful, the Starship could open up new frontiers for human exploration and could eventually pave the way for humans to become a spacefaring species. As Musk said, “I think there is a strong case for making life multi-planetary in order to safeguard the existence of humanity in the event that something catastrophic were to happen.”

By The Impactlab