Home > Information news > SpaceX Gears Up For Fourth Starship Test Flight – Might Fire Up Test Rocket Today!

SpaceX Gears Up For Fourth Starship Test Flight – Might Fire Up Test Rocket Today!

Release: 2024/03/29 09:36 Reading: 793

Original author:Ramish Zafar

Original source:https://wccftech.com/spacex-gears-up-for-fourth-starship-test-flight-might-fire-up-test-rocket-today/

After a spectacular third test flight roughly two weeks back, SpaceX is making progress with attempting to fly the world's largest rocket in Texas for a fourth time. SpaceX's Starship is currently being developed in Boca Chica, Texas, and within two weeks of the third flight, the firm has already started to test the second stage Starship that is currently slated to fly on the fourth Starship launch called IFT-4. SpaceX ran a successful static fire test of the second stage Starship yesterday, and notices sent to locals living close to its test facilities show that a mother test might take place today to prepare the rocket for a key test objective during IFT-4.

SpaceX Might Fire Up Second Stage Rocket Again Today As Part of IFT-4 Campaign

With three full stack Starship tests in its belt, SpaceX is still left with several test objectives that it must demonstrate in order to move forward with the rocket's development. The latest Starship test evaluated the rocket's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, its onboard satellite launch system, in space propellant transfer demonstration and a simulated landing of the Super Heavy booster.

So far, the second stage Starship has yet to fire its single engine in space, and the Super Heavy has not reignited all of its engines for a landing maneuver. Both of these are crucial for the rocket, especially since without a booster landing, the first stage Staship will not be reusable and drastically increase the cost per launch of the rocket.

Even before it launched IFT-3, SpaceX shared that the vehicles for the next flight were already undergoing preparations. True to form, the firm has started to test the second stage Starship, and on this front, it fired up the rocket's engines earlier this week as part of a static fire test in Texas. This test evaluates the rocket's fuel, piping, engine and other systems to ensure that they are in working condition before launch.

Now, it appears that SpaceX might test the second stage Starship again today as overpressure notices have been sent to locals in Boca Chica, Texas. These notices, along with others that outline road closure dates, are among the clearest indicators for milestones in the Starship test flight campaign. Before the first Starship test earlier this week, a similar notice was sent out a day before the test.

While SpaceX has picked up the pace with its second stage Starship tests for IFT-4, the Super Heavy booster is the rocket to watch out for. IFT-3 demonstrated that its 33 Raptor engines were able to power the second stage to stage separation successfully, and while they lit up successfully for boost back burn, the rest of their journey wasn't successful.

SpaceX's live stream showed that the engines shut down unevenly after their reignition and then failed to reignite for a landing burn. Unlike the workhorse Falcon 9, Starship Super Heavy is designed to be caught by its launch tower for recovery. However, it still has to reorient itself for a vertical catch, and so far, SpaceX has been unsuccessful in demonstrating this capability.

According to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, the fourth Starship test flight can take place as soon as in May. This leaves the firm with a little over a month to fine-tune its vehicles before the flight, and should this timeline materialize, then the pace of Starship launch this year will also pick up.

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