Wednesday, July 17, 2024

SpaceX’s next Starship test flight is coming soon, Elon Musk confirms

SpaceX’s next Starship test flight is coming soon, CEO Elon Musk confirmed recently.

The previous four test flights have shown repeated progress, with each Starship launch showing more positives than the previous. The 400-foot-tall rocket will eventually make life interplanetary; at least, that is the goal of SpaceX.

However, Starship is still undergoing its routine test flights, and it performed its first on April 20, 2023, with Integrated Test Flight 1, also known as IFT-1. It lasted roughly four minutes total, as SpaceX initiated the flight termination system, which destroyed the vehicle roughly 40 seconds after it was initiated.

Then, in November, IFT-2 lasted eight minutes and fifty-five seconds before filter blockages caused several booster engines to shut down. Once again, the flight termination system was initiated as it reached an altitude of roughly 148 kilometers.

IFT-3 occurred in March, lasted over 49 minutes, and disintegrated before a planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean. The booster was eventually destroyed about 462 meters above the ocean.

IFT-4 took place in June and was SpaceX’s most successful Starship mission yet. It lasted over an hour, and included a successful re-entry and a successful controlled splashdown in the Indian Ocean.

Now, IFT-5 is set to be launched soon, and Musk believes it will take off in roughly four weeks, according to what the CEO said on X:

Based on the success of IFT-4, it seems the quick turnaround to launch ITF-5 means SpaceX is ready to realize further progress on its Starship launches, Space.com says.

After IFT-4, SpaceX had fewer things to analyze and resolve, and the Federal Aviation Adminsitration (FAA) did not need any further investigations as it did with other post-flight reports.

SpaceX aims to bring the giant booster back for a pinpoint landing on the Starbase launch mount with IFT-5, another amazing piece of progress if it can manage to pull it off.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

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