If all goes as planned, SpaceX's massive Starship spacecraft might launch into orbit for the first time next month.

In addition to other tasks, SpaceX is developing Starship to transport passengers and goods to Mars and the moon. The gigantic spaceship is made up of two components that may both be used repeatedly: a massive first-stage rocket known as Super Heavy and a 165-foot-tall (50 meters) upper-stage spacecraft known as Starship.

SpaceX has been preparing for the launch of Starship, its next-generation deep-space transportation system, for months. The business may be nearing completion of this preparation work, which may enable Starship to launch in around six weeks.

"We have a real shot at late February. March launch attempt appears highly likely," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter.

The planned orbital test flight will reportedly include a Super Heavy prototype known as Booster 7 and the Ship 24 Starship version. SpaceX has been testing both prototypes at its Starbase facility in South Texas.

For example, both Booster 7 and Ship 24 have conducted "static fire" trials, in which they ignited their Raptor engines while remaining anchored to the ground. Ship 24 has activated all six of its Raptors simultaneously, while Booster 7 has activated up to 14 of its 33 engines at the same time.

That latter total indicates that SpaceX still needs to complete some preparations before the orbital launch. Prior to launch, Booster 7 will undergo a full 33-engine static burn, according to Musk.

The Starship's first test flight since May 5, 2021, will be the orbital trial. A three-engine Starship prototype known as SN15 took off that day and traveled about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) into the Texas sky before returning to Earth and making a secure landing at Starbase.

Like all prior Starship prototypes that launched on test flights, SN15 got off on its own. The launch of Ship 24 and Booster 7 will be the maiden flight of a Super Heavy vehicle.

The next test flight will take off from Starbase. Ship 24 will circle the Earth once before crashing into the Pacific Ocean off the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Booster 7 is expected to make its own splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas.