MBN

NEWS

SpaceX: 4th test flight is the charm for SpaceX’s mega rocket...

Tenacious D: Tenacious D postpone Australian show after backlash over Donald...
Published Time: 06.06.2024 - 13:04:07 Modified Time: 06.06.2024 - 13:04:07

Last year’s two test flights ended in explosions shortly after blasting off from the southern tip of Texas near the Mexican border. The first one cratered the pad at Boca Chica Beach and hurled debris for thousands of feet (meters). SpaceX, starship launch


“And we have splashdown!” SpaceX launch commentator Kate Tice announced from Mission Control at company headquarters in California.

It was a critical milestone in the company’s plan to eventually return Starship’s Super Heavy booster to its launch site for reuse.

SpaceX came close to avoiding explosion in March, but lost contact with the spacecraft as it careened out of space and blew up short of its goal. The booster also ruptured in flight, a quarter-mile above the gulf.

Last year’s two test flights ended in explosions shortly after blasting off from the southern tip of Texas near the Mexican border. The first one cratered the pad at Boca Chica Beach and hurled debris for thousands of feet (meters).

wait for SpaceX’s Starship rocket launch, designed to eventually send astronauts to the moon and beyond, as it launches on its fourth flight test from the company’s Boca Chica launchpad, near Brownsville, Texas, on June 6, 2024. Photo by Veronica Gabriela Cardenas/

SpaceX upgraded the software and made some rocket-flyback changes to improve the odds. The Federal Aviation Administration signed off Tuesday on this fourth demo, saying all safety requirements had been met.

READ MORE: A cradle of baby stars revealed in new European space telescope images

Starship is designed to be fully reusable. That’s why SpaceX wants to control the booster’s entry into the gulf and the spacecraft’s descent into the Indian Ocean — it’s intended as practice for planned future landings. Nothing is being recovered from Thursday’s flight.

NASA has ordered a pair of Starships for two moon-landing missions by astronauts, on tap for later this decade. Each moon crew will rely on NASA’s own rocket and capsule to leave Earth, but meet up with Starship in lunar orbit for the ride down to the surface.

SpaceX already is selling tourist trips around the moon. The first private lunar customer, a Japanese tycoon, pulled out of the trip with his entourage last week, citing the oft-delayed schedule.

SpaceX’s founder and CEO has grander plans: Musk envisions fleets of Starships launching and the infrastructure necessary to build a city on Mars.

The SpaceX Starship launches during its fourth flight test from Boca Chica beach on June 6, 2024, in Brownsville, Texas. Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Marcia Dunn,

Subscribe to Here’s the Deal, our newsletter for analysis you won’t find anywhere else.

© 1996 - 2024 .

Subscribe to ‘Here's the Deal,’ our newsletter

Friends of the .

Support for Provided By

NEWS