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NASA expects Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch its first Starship into orbit this year.

A US official said on Monday that SpaceX plans to launch its massive Starship rocket system into orbit for the first time in early December,

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a critical demonstration flight as it aims to fly NASA astronauts to the moon in the coming years.

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The US Space Agency SpaceX, the billionaire Elon Musk's company, has been attempting for years to launch its towering next-generation rocket system into orbit

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where it has only launched prototypes of the Starship's upper half about 6 miles (10 kilometres) high to demonstrate landing attempts.

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The entire system will be tested for the first time in December, with the company's 230-foot (70-meter) Super Heavy booster

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lifting the 160-foot (50-meter) Starship spacecraft into orbit.

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