SpaceX has completed the first wet dress test of its stacked Super Heavy rocket and Starship spacecraft.

The exercise, which involves fueling SpaceX’s next-generation rocket and working through pre-launch procedures, is an important step toward the vehicle’s first orbital test flight, which could take place in February or March.

The test took place at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Monday. SpaceX announced the completion of the test in a tweet, but omitted to say if it had been a success.

“Starship completed its first flight-like wet dress rehearsal today at Starbase,” he said. “This was the first time an integrated ship and propellant had been fully loaded with more than 10 million pounds of propellant.”

Starship today completed its first flight-like wet dress rehearsal at Starbase. This was the first time an integrated ship and propellant had been fully loaded with more than 10 million pounds of propellant.

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2023

If the test goes as planned, Starship will be removed from the top of the Super Heavy rocket in preparation for a static fire test where the first stage booster is strapped to the ground before firing its 33 Raptor 2 engines to ensure that it is behaving as expected.

A successful test of the engine would see Starship repositioned on the rocket for the highly anticipated orbital test flight that will earn the spacecraft a place in the record books as the most powerful ever flown.

NASA is as interested as anyone in seeing the test flight go ahead, and be successful, because want to use a modified version of the Starship spacecraft to land the first woman and first person of color on the lunar surface as part of the Artemis III mission. The trip is currently scheduled for 2025, although that date could be pushed back.

Looking ahead, the space agency could also use the Super Heavy and the Starship for the first manned mission to Mars, an ambitious effort that could take place in the 2030s.

SpaceX also wants to use its new rocket and spacecraft to the first all-civilian mission to the moon, which will see Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa travel with eight others to our nearest celestial neighbor and perform a flyby of the lunar surface before returning home. The six-day dearMoon mission was originally planned for later this year, but with Super Heavy yet to complete its first orbital flight, it seems certain that the mission will be delayed.

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