SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy Vehicle Test Flight Scheduled for Thursday

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, has been granted a license by the Federal Aviation Administration for the third test flight of its Starship Super Heavy vehicle. This highly anticipated test flight is scheduled to take place as soon as Thursday morning, with a 110-minute launch window opening at 7AM CT / 8AM ET / 5AM PT on March 14th.

In a post on X (which is also owned by Elon Musk), the FAA stated that SpaceX has met all safety, environmental, policy, and financial responsibility requirements for the upcoming test flight. This comes after the first two Starship launches, which ended explosively, causing significant damage and leaving debris fields. The FAA provided SpaceX with a list of 63 corrective actions to address issues before the second attempt last spring.

SpaceX has outlined ambitious objectives for the third test flight, including the successful ascent burn of both stages, opening and closing Starship’s payload door, demonstrating propellant transfer during the upper stage’s coast phase, re-lighting a Raptor engine while in space for the first time, and executing a controlled reentry of Starship. Additionally, SpaceX is targeting a splashdown in the Indian Ocean instead of aiming for a spot closer to Hawaii as in previous attempts.

By choosing a new trajectory for the test flight, with a splashdown in the Indian Ocean, SpaceX aims to maximize public safety while attempting new techniques such as in-space engine burns. This strategic shift reflects SpaceX’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration while prioritizing safety and environmental responsibility.

Overall, the upcoming test flight of SpaceX’s Starship Super Heavy vehicle represents a pivotal moment in the company’s pursuit of space exploration and innovation. With new safety measures in place, ambitious objectives to achieve, and a commitment to maximizing public safety, SpaceX is poised to make significant advancements in the field of aerospace technology. Stay tuned for updates on the test flight as SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in space travel.

Tech

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