SpaceX announces next Starship test flight date

Starship performs a WDR ahead of Flight 4 (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX is targeting June 5th for the fourth flight test of its massive Starship rocket, pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The company completed a full wet dress rehearsal last week before destacking Starship from the Super Heavy booster to complete final preparations ahead of launch.

SpaceX then stacked the two rockets together this weekend and could possibly perform another fueling test ahead of the June 5th launch attempt while they await approval from the FAA.

The fourth flight test will see Starship 29, along with Super Heavy Booster 11, attempt to make it further than their predecessors. SpaceX indicated that this flight will follow the same flight path as the third test but will not be performing an engine re-light in space, fuel transfer, or payload bay door operations.

The goal for this flight is for both vehicles to survive their respective re-entry through the atmosphere, a soft landing in the ocean for Super Heavy, and a controlled re-entry for Starship.

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

On the Starship side, SpaceX also made several changes, including adding more thrusters to help control the Starship’s attitude while in its coast phase and prevent blockage, which caused the uncontrolled re-entry on the third flight test.

With these changes in mind, do you think the fourth flight of Starship will exceed the third, or will another issue rear its head and cause SpaceX to take more corrective actions?

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SpaceX announces next Starship test flight date
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