SpaceX Schedules Next Starship Mega Rocket Launch for June 5

SpaceX said on Friday that Starship, the most potent rocket in the world, will conduct its next test flight on June 5.

Subject to regulatory approval, the launch window from the company’s Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, opens at 7:00 am local time (1200 GMT).

This will be the sleek mega rocket’s fourth test, and it’s critical to both SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s aspirations of eventually colonizing Mars and NASA’s plans to land men on the Moon later this decade.

The Starship was destroyed on three prior efforts, which the business claims is a reasonable expense for its quick trial-and-error method of development.

“The fourth flight test turns our focus from achieving orbit to demonstrating the ability to return and reuse Starship and Super Heavy,” SpaceX said in a press release.

The top stage and the two stages together are referred to as Starship, whereas Super Heavy is the booster.

The third test, which took place in March and saw Starship travel halfway around the world until it was lost when it re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean, will have a similar flight path.

This time, SpaceX aims to accomplish a “controlled entry” for the upper stage and a gentle splashdown for the booster stage in the Gulf of Mexico.

Starship is 90 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, at 397 feet (121 meters) when both tiers are merged. Starship is intended to someday be completely reusable.

The thrust produced by its Super Heavy booster is 16.7 million pounds (74.3 Meganewtons), about twice as much as that of NASA’s Space Launch System, the second-most powerful rocket in the world. However, the Space Launch System is now certified, whereas Starship is still a prototype.

In the past, SpaceX’s approach of conducting tests outside of labs has proven successful.

Its Dragon capsule transports people and goods to the International Space Station; its Falcon 9 rockets are now NASA’s workhorses; and its Starlink array of internet satellites now spans many nations.

However, SpaceX has a limited amount of time to prepare for NASA’s anticipated 2026 return of humans to the Moon, which will use a modified Starship as the lander vehicle.

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