SpaceX Starship to Set Off on 4th Test Flight in June

SpaceX is planning a fourth test flight of Starship. In the future, the largest spacecraft in human history will be able to carry astronauts to the Moon and Mars. In the new test flight, the company will strive to exceed the previous Starship’s limits.

The huge rocket is currently preparing for its next test flight. SpaceX and Elon Musk shared photos on X of the Super Heavy booster and upper stage of Starship at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. The company’s CEO said the next test flight will take place in 3-5 weeks. This means it could take place sometime in June. This will be a shorter break than between the last test flights, which were 7 and 4 months apart. The last test flight took place in March.

According to Musk, this time, the goal is for Starship “to get past max heating or at least further than last time.” On March 14, 2024, during the third test flight, SpaceX almost succeeded in achieving its goal. Having gone further than ever before, Starship burned up upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. The 18,000 hexagonal heat shields that were supposed to protect the rocket failed to withstand the extreme temperatures.

In two previous tests, the rocket exploded after a few minutes of flight. However, SpaceX received a lot of important information that helped to improve Starship. Therefore, the third test was a big step forward. The goal of all test flights is to create a reliable spacecraft capable of making interplanetary travel possible—making humanity a multiplanetary species. SpaceX’s immediate goals are to enable manned flight to Mars and possibly transport humans to a lunar base. Starship’s payload is 100 tons for interplanetary travel and 150 tons for LEO.

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