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Starship's 4th Launch May Be Days Away... June 5th Is Current Target

Primary Objectives Turn To Demonstrating The Ability To Return And Reuse Starship And Super Heavy

Unlike the Boeing Starliner program, the SpaceX Starship effort proceeds apace. 

The fourth flight test of Starship could launch as soon as June 5, pending regulatory approval.

SpaceX notes that Starship’s third flight test made tremendous strides towards a future of rapidly reliable reusable rockets with the test completing several exciting firsts, including the first Starship reentry from space, the first ever opening and closing of Starship’s payload door in space, and a successful propellant transfer demonstration. This last test provided valuable data for eventual ship-to-ship propellant transfers that will enable missions like returning astronauts to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program.

The fourth flight test turns Elon's troops focus from achieving orbit to demonstrating the ability to return and reuse Starship and Super Heavy. The primary objectives will be executing a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico with the Super Heavy booster, and achieving a controlled entry of Starship.

To accomplish this, several software and hardware upgrades have been made to increase overall reliability and address lessons learned from Flight 3. The SpaceX team will also implement operational changes, including the jettison of the Super Heavy’s hot-stage following boostback to reduce booster mass for the final phase of flight.

Flight 4 will fly a similar trajectory as the previous flight test, with Starship targeted to splashdown in the Indian Ocean. This flight path does not require a deorbit burn for reentry, maximizing public safety while still providing the opportunity to meet their primary objective of a controlled Starship reentry.

The fourth flight of Starship will aim to bring the program closer to a rapidly reusable future with the SpaceX teams continuing to rapidly develop Starship, putting flight hardware in a flight environment to learn as quickly as possible as they attempt to build a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Mars or bust!

FMI: www.spacex.com

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