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McDowell’s models have Starship traveling above the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, southern Africa, the Indian Ocean, northern Australia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean. Starship is expected to reenter the atmosphere over the Pacific and perform a splash down around 62 miles (100 km) northwest of Kauai, Hawaii. That should happen at the 90-minute mark, effectively ending the inaugural mission.

Should it get that far, the rocket could conceivably fail at any point during the mission, or exhibit undesirable behaviors, such as some engines not firing or unacceptable wear-and-tear during the reentries. First flights seldom succeed in the rocket industry, but the incoming data will prove invaluable to SpaceX; the company will scrutinize data relating to the rocket, its engines, computers, and ground systems. These findings will, in turn, inform the second Starship mission, which, depending on how things go next week, could happen later this year.

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Starship will very likely become a bona fide rocket someday, but as SpaceX has proven before, these things don’t happen overnight.

Want to know more about Elon Musk’s space venture? Check out our full coverage of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket and the SpaceX Starlink internet satellite megaconstellation. And for more spaceflight in your life, follow us on Twitter and bookmark Gizmodo’s dedicated Spaceflight page.