Elon Musk’s SpaceX announced plans for the first orbital test flight of its 160-foot spacecraft rocket in a report to the Federal Communications Commission released on Thursday.
According to the plansThe test flight will be conducted from the company’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas. The booster stage will separate after about three minutes of flight and land in the Gulf of Mexico, about 32 km from the shore.
The spacecraft will then continue to fly between Florida Straights and enter orbit until it makes a motorized, aimed landing “in a soft ocean landing” approximately 62 miles off the northwest coast of Kauai.
The entire flight is expected to take around 90 minutes. The maximum altitude the spaceship can reach is expected to be 72 miles.
No specific date for the test flight was given in the document. Musk and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell previously said it could happen later this year or March 2022.
SpaceX said its goal with orbital flight is to learn more about the entry dynamics and get a better understanding of what the vehicle is experiencing in a flight regime. SpaceX said the data collected will be applied to vehicle design and will allow the company to design better models for use in in-house simulations.
The FCC filing is done according to SpaceX landed successfully his fifth flight test test earlier this month. The unscrewed SN15 spaceship was launched from SpaceX in Boca Chica. During the six-minute flight, the spacecraft shot up, performed a “belly flop” maneuver, and finally straightened up before landing vertically.
James Leggate of FOX Business contributed to this report.