SpaceX arranging for third test of Starship rocket

by | Mar 13, 2024

SpaceX is targeting Thursday for the third test flight of its Starship megarocket. A successful launch could significantly support NASA's plans to send astronauts back to the moon and revolutionize the commercial spaceflight sector.

The launch is scheduled to occur from SpaceX’s Starbase test site in Boca Chica, Texas. Liftoff is anticipated around 8 a.m. ET, although the timing is subject to change. SpaceX noted on its website that “the schedule is dynamic and likely to change.”

On March 8, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a launch license for the test flight, stating that SpaceX had fulfilled all safety, environmental, policy, and financial responsibility criteria.

SpaceX stated that the third test flight will address “a number of ambitious objectives” that expand on the lessons learned from previous flights. These objectives include firing one of Starship’s Raptor engines while in space, operating the vehicle’s payload door, and transferring propellant between two of Starship’s tanks in orbit. Additionally, SpaceX aims to demonstrate that Starship can perform a controlled re-entry through Earth’s atmosphere and safely splash down in the Indian Ocean.

Starship is anticipated to play a crucial role in NASA’s endeavors to return to the moon. The spacecraft has been chosen by the agency to transport astronauts to the lunar surface for the upcoming Artemis III mission, slated for a potential launch in 2026.

Source: NBC News



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