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SpaceX Starship Sets First Launch for January

Elon Musk announced Wednesday that SpaceX will launch its Starship spaceship into orbit for the first time in January 2022.

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Elon Musk announced Wednesday that SpaceX will launch its Starship spaceship into orbit for the first time in January 2022.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

He was careful to point out that the first launch might not be successful, but expressed confidence that the ship would reach orbit at some point in 2022.. 

“There’s a lot of risk associated with this first launch,” he said, “so I would not say that it is likely to be successful but we’ll make a lot of progress. 

During a video chat with members of the National Academy of Sciences, the SpaceX founder explained the plan: The company will run tests in December, then launch the spaceship the following month. Overall, there will be a dozen or more orbital test flights for Starship next year.

The January launch is later than Musk and SpaceX leadership first anticipated. In March, he tweeted that the “goal” of the company was to launch in July 2021. In October, he tweeted, “If all goes well, Starship will be ready for its first orbital launch attempt next month, pending regulatory approval.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has said it will finish its environmental reviews of SpaceX’s Texas launch site by the end of this year.