In three weeks: Elon Musk announces the third flight of Starship

Elon Musk announced through social media that the third test flight of Starship would launch “in about three weeks.” This statement from the SpaceX CEO came despite the absence of official communications from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on whether it would grant SpaceX permission to launch the next flight.

The movement of the first stage of the Starship-Super Heavy to the launch pad. Photo: SpaceX

The FAA is currently continuing to investigate the accident during the second Starship test flight, which launched from the Starbase spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, in November 2023. As during the first flight, which took place seven months earlier, in April, the Starship exploded shortly after takeoff. Although during the second flight it was possible to achieve the separation of two stages.

SpaceX expects that the FAA is already at the finish line in the investigation process and will soon issue permission to launch the third test flight of a next-generation rocket — a vehicle designed to fly crew and cargo to the Moon and possibly also to Mars.

A private space company is not waiting idly, but is actively preparing for launch. SpaceX recently moved both parts of the rocket – the Super heavy-lift launch vehicle and the Starship spacecraft – to the launch pad at the Starbase spaceport. 

With a whopping 7,500 tons of thrust at launch – almost twice as much as the new NASA Space Launch System rocket – the Starship rocket has become the most powerful rocket that has ever taken off from the surface of the Earth. But two explosions during two test flights and the inability to reach orbit mean that the rocket is still far from ready to perform real flights.

One of the main goals of the next test is to put Starship into orbit. This will be considered a great achievement and will allow the SpaceX team to take another important step towards their goal of launching a spacecraft to carry out revolutionary missions in the coming years.

Earlier, we reported on how the Pentagon planned to take control of Starship from SpaceX.

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