SpaceX is gearing up for the third test launch of its massive Starship rocket

SpaceX's next-generation mega rocket is set to launch on a major test flight Thursday morning in an effort to demonstrate new technologies and techniques that will be critical to future missions to the moon and beyond.

According to SpaceX, the upcoming launch will be the third and most ambitious test flight of the rocket. The event will be closely watched as the nearly 400-foot-tall booster, known as Starship, is expected to play a key role in NASA's lunar return program.

Starship will launch from SpaceX's Starbase test site in Boca Chica, Texas. Liftoff is expected at 9:25 a.m. ET, but that time is tentative and subject to change based on the rocket's position on the launch pad and the weather. The 110-minute launch window opened at 8 a.m. ET, but SpaceX adjusted its target liftoff time as it worked to clear the boats from danger in the Gulf of Mexico.

SpaceX said early Thursday Weather conditions were 70% favorable for the test flight, but later crews said they were monitoring the wind.

There will be initiation Streamed live on SpaceX's website Around 8:50 am ET.

With this flight, SpaceX hopes to demonstrate that the Starship can make a controlled re-entry through Earth's atmosphere before splashing down in the Indian Ocean. Before that finale, testing included various objectives from the rocket's previous two missions. SpaceX will attempt to fire one of the starship's Raptor engines while in space, opening and closing the vehicle's payload door and transferring propellant between the starship's two tanks in orbit.

See also  Russia-Ukraine War: Live Updates - The New York Times

Many of these techniques could help future missions to deploy SpaceX satellites and set the stage for lunar missions as part of NASA's Artemis program.

Starship has been selected by NASA to carry astronauts to the lunar surface on the Artemis III mission, which is slated to launch in 2026.

The Starship's maiden flight last April was a disastrous one, with the rocket exploding minutes after liftoff. The second Starship launch in November achieved several milestones, including the separation of the first-stage booster, known as the Super Heavy, and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, but the company eventually lost contact with the vehicle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *