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SpaceX continues progress towards Starship’s 3rd test flight

Ship 28 and Booster 10 undergoing a fueling test ahead of IFT-3 (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX is at least two days away from the potential 3rd test flight of Starship.

The company is still targeting the morning of Thursday, March 14th, while they await the launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration, which could come at any time between now and the evening before launch.

While SpaceX waited for the launch license from the FAA, teams continued working on preparing Ship 28 and Booster 10, including installing the Flight Termination System on Ship 10 before it was stacked back on top of Booster 10 for the final time.

Teams also removed all of the scaffolding surrounding Booster 10, signaling the work on that section of Booster 10 is completed, barring any unforeseen technical issues.

Another sign we are closer to launch is that people have started making their way to the South Texas launch site, from launch photographers to SpaceX enthusiasts.

Even a few Cybertrucks are making an appearance for photo ops with the massive rocket. This awesome photo below of two Cybertrucks and Starship in the predawn hours by photographer John Kraus is a good example.

SpaceX recently announced a slight change in the mission’s launch profile. Previous attempts aimed for a splash down North of the Hawaiian Islands, but with IFT-3, SpaceX is aiming for another suborbital trajectory with a splash down just East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

The company is using the new trajectory to perform in space engine burns while flying over much less populated areas and increasing public safety. NASA has also said they could perform a fuel transfer demonstration by flowing fuel from the header tank to the main fuel tank, but SpaceX has yet to confirm this.

As soon as the FAA approves the launch license for IFT-3, we will have the updates for you here!

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at rangle@teslarati.com, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX continues progress towards Starship’s 3rd test flight
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