SpaceX announces the date of the next Starship test flight

SpaceX is targeting June 5 for the fourth flight test of its massive Starship rocket, pending FAA approval.

The company completed full training last week before disassembling Starship from its Super Heavy booster to complete final pre-launch preparations.

SpaceX then put the two rockets together this weekend and will likely do another refueling test before attempting a launch on June 5 while they wait for FAA approval.

The fourth flight test will see Starship 29, along with Super Heavy Booster 11, attempt to reach further than its predecessors. SpaceX noted that this flight will follow the same flight path as the third test but will not perform engine relights in space, fuel transfer, or payload bay door operations.

The goal of this flight is for both craft to survive a reentry through the atmosphere, a soft ocean landing for the Super Heavy, and a controlled reentry for the Starship.

To help Super Heavy survive its trip to Earth, SpaceX will eliminate the hot staging ring from the top of the booster and made several hardware and software changes to prevent the same problems that occurred in the third flight test, including a blocked filter that prevented the Raptor’s engines from lighting up during landing burn. .

On the spacecraft side, SpaceX also made several changes, including adding more thrusters to help control the spacecraft’s attitude while in the coast phase and prevent blockage, which caused an uncontrolled reentry in the third flight test.

With these changes in mind, do you think Starship’s fourth flight will overtake the third, or will another issue rear its head and cause SpaceX to take further corrective action?

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