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SpaceX is cleared to aim its third Starship take a look at flight

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Now that the Federal Aviation Administration has granted SpaceX a license (pdf), the third take a look at flight of its Starship Tremendous Heavy car might happen as quickly as Thursday morning. SpaceX says {that a} 110-minute launch window will open at 7AM CT / 8AM ET / 5AM PT tomorrow, March 14th.

In the event you’re planning on watching to see what occurs, we advocate getting up early earlier than the launch simply in case it’s both canceled or, as we’ve seen on earlier makes an attempt, happens on the very starting of the launch window.

In a post on X (which, like SpaceX, is owned by Elon Musk), the FAA mentioned it has “decided SpaceX met all security, environmental, coverage and monetary duty necessities.” Whereas each of the primary two Starship launches took off and achieved some mission objectives, each additionally ended explosively.

The primary one caused significant damage not solely to the launchpad however also “left a 385-acre particles discipline that flung concrete chunks so far as 2,680 ft from the launchpad and sparked a 3.5-acre hearth.” The FAA offered a list of 63 corrective actions for SpaceX to take to deal with points comparable to leaking propellant earlier than the second try final spring.

For this third launch, SpaceX says it’s concentrating on a splashdown within the Indian Ocean as a substitute of aiming for a spot nearer to Hawaii because it did with the earlier makes an attempt, to strive issues like in-space engine burns “whereas maximizing public security.”

The third flight take a look at goals to construct on what we’ve discovered from earlier flights whereas trying numerous bold targets, together with the profitable ascent burn of each phases, opening and shutting Starship’s payload door, a propellant switch demonstration through the higher stage’s coast part, the primary ever rekindle of a Raptor engine whereas in area, and a managed reentry of Starship. It is going to additionally fly a brand new trajectory, with Starship focused to splashdown within the Indian Ocean. This new flight path permits us to aim new methods like in-space engine burns whereas maximizing public security.

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