Monday, April 15, 2024

SpaceX given okay for third Starship trial flight

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SpaceX is gearing up for another flight of its enormous Starship rocket, which is the most powerful one ever built. They got approval from government regulators for a third test flight.

The launch might happen at any time within a 110-minute window starting at 7 a.m. CT (8 a.m. ET) on Thursday. You can watch it live on SpaceX’s website 30 minutes before liftoff.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which allows commercial rocket launches, gave SpaceX the go-ahead on Wednesday afternoon.

“The FAA checked that SpaceX followed all safety, environmental, policy, and money rules,” said the agency.

This test flight follows two previous attempts in 2023, which didn’t go well. The Starship vehicle exploded both times before reaching where it was supposed to land.

SpaceX isn’t discouraged by these failures. They believe failures early on help them make better rockets faster.

The success of Starship is vital for SpaceX’s goal: sending people to Mars, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Additionally, NASA has chosen Starship to land astronauts on the moon for the first time in over 50 years. They’re in a race with China to establish a permanent human presence on the moon.

NASA plans to invest up to $4 billion in Starship. The spacecraft would play a crucial role in NASA’s mission to the moon under the Artemis program.

Musk is optimistic about the upcoming test flight, estimating an 80% chance of success.

SpaceX’s method of rocket development involves building prototypes quickly and learning from failures. They see failures as steps towards making better rockets.

After previous explosions, SpaceX sees each test as a learning opportunity to improve Starship’s reliability for future missions.

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