Fourth test flight of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket will take place in June

Fourth test flight of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket will take place in June
Fourth test flight of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket will take place in June

SpaceX is picking up the pace. Less than three months after its third test, on March 14, SpaceX’s Starship megarocket will attempt a new flight on June 5, the American company announced on Friday. The firing window from the Starbase space base in Boca Chica (Texas) begins at 7 a.m. local time (2 p.m. in France), subject to the green light from the American air regulator (FAA).

This will be the fourth test for the largest rocket in the world, some 120 meters high and made up of two stages: the Super Heavy propulsion stage and, above it, the Starship spacecraft. Its first three flights ended in the destruction of the Starship, acceptable risks for SpaceX, whose development strategy involves speed and successive tests.

“Controlled entry” objective

The company also points out in a press release the “immense progress” of the third flight, which notably “accomplished several firsts”, such as “the first re-entry of the vessel from space”, “the first opening and closing of the hatch payload in space” or “the first successful demonstration of fuel transfer”.

“The fourth test flight allows us to move from orbit to demonstrating the return and reuse capability of Starship and Super Heavy,” SpaceX continues in its press release. The flight path is similar to that of the previous test, during which the ship flew halfway around the globe before exploding upon re-entering the atmosphere. This time, SpaceX is hoping for a soft landing of Super Heavy in the Gulf of Mexico and a “controlled entry” of the Starship into the atmosphere.

The company is banking on the world’s most powerful rocket to achieve its goal of making humanity a multi-planetary species by installing it on Mars. Its development is also very important for NASA, which is counting on this vessel to land its astronauts on the Moon during its Artemis 3 mission, planned for 2026. In addition to its disproportionate size, the great innovation of this rocket is that it must , ultimately, be entirely reusable.

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