SpaceX to launch Starship's third flight test Thursday

SpaceX to launch Starship's third flight test Thursday
1 min read

SpaceX is targeting Thursday for the third flight test of its giant Starship rocket, the company said on Wednesday.

The third flight test aims to build on previous flights while attempting a number of ambitious objectives, including the successful ascent burn of both stages, opening and closing Starship's payload door, a propellant transfer demonstration during the upper stage's coast phase, the first ever re-light of a Raptor engine while in space, and a controlled reentry of Starship, according to SpaceX.

It will also fly a new trajectory, with Starship targeted to splashdown in the Indian Ocean. The new flight path enables the mission team to attempt new techniques like in-space engine burns while maximizing public safety, according to SpaceX.

The SpaceX Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket, collectively referred to as Starship, represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and beyond.

SpaceX made the first test flight of its fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket in April last year, but the vehicle exploded after liftoff from the launch pad in SpaceX's Starbase in Boca Chica, South Texas.

During the second test flight in November last year, Starship blasted off from the launch pad, but exploded minutes after launch.

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