SpaceX conducted the last tests before the fourth flight of Starship

SpaceX has approached the fourth test flight of Starship, the most powerful rocket in the world. On May 27, engineers completed a full rehearsal for the launch of Starship, consisting of a superheavy launch vehicle and a spacecraft, at the Starbase base in Boca Chica, Texas. The rehearsal included refueling a 120-meter rocket and going through all pre-launch procedures. This is the last serious test before the flight. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he expected the rocket to launch in June.

Starship at the launch pad at Starbase in Boca Chica. Photo: SpaceX

Despite SpaceX’s readiness for launch, the team is still waiting for permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which continues to investigate failures during the third test flight, which took place in March. The first two Starship test flights ended in explosions a few minutes after launch, and the third attempt achieved many mission objectives, but failed. 

Starship at the launch pad at Starbase in Boca Chica. Photo: SpaceX

The Super Heavy booster has a thrust of 7.7 tons, which is more than twice the thrust of the Saturn V rocket, which delivered the first people to the Moon in the Apollo missions, and almost twice the thrust of the NASA’s SLS rocket, which first flew in November 2022 – it will send the first astronauts of the Artemis II mission in 2025.

Starship at the launch pad at Starbase in Boca Chica. Photo: SpaceX

After full testing and certification, SpaceX plans to use Starship to deliver cargo and crew to the Moon, preparing to build a permanent base on its surface. NASA has already signed an agreement with SpaceX to use a modified version of Starship to land two astronauts on the Moon as part of the Artemis III mission, which may take place in 2026. The giant rocket could also be used to deliver the first humans to Mars, although such an ambitious mission is still a long way off. 

SpaceX also plans to build two new launch towers at Cape Canaveral in Florida, which will increase the number of tests. Musk noted that the company was waiting for permission to start work on the Space Coast

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