¶Starship’s impending Orbital Flight Test. Long-awaited, the Starship full stack orbital flight test (OFT), now being referred to by SpaceX as the “first integrated flight test,” is all but ready to launch (here’s some gorgeous drone footage of the stacked vehicle). This test comes nearly two years after the last successful high-altitude flight test of Starship SN15 (video). Musk announced last weekend that the vehicle is “ready for launch,” and all that stands between the company and a first launch attempt is FAA approval, which could come any time… or delay the launch further. The company may have canceled plans for a launch rehersal, opting to proceed with the launch as soon as licensing is granted. Current FAA documents point to a potential April 17th launch, with backup dates during the 18th-21st. Starship and Super Heavy will take off from Boca Chica, fueled with upwards of 4,600 tons of liquid methane and oxygen. After stage separation, Booster 7 will return for a soft landing off the Texas gulf coast. Ship 24 will continue its flight to orbital velocity (or close), then will test atmospheric reentry, potentially perform a simulated ‘chopsticks catch’ hover, and a soft landing in the Pacific north of Hawai’i. Depending on the landings' softness, SpaceX may recover one or both stages, allowing their teams to inspect them for required adjustments before the next flight test of the massive rocket. Meanwhile, the backlog of Starship prototypes grows with at least Ship 29 and Booster 12 in production.