SpaceX on social network X (formerly Twitter) reported on the preparation of the third rocket for orbital testing of the Starship. The company is ready to launch before the end of February if the US Federal Aviation Administration issues a flight license.
The Super Heavy accelerator in the Booster 10 version and the next prototype of the Starship spacecraft were taken to the spaceport site in Texas on Saturday, February 10. The 50-meter Starship was then placed on a 70-meter accelerator. Each stage of the work was carefully documented for the report.
In 2023, SpaceX made two attempts to launch the Starship prototype into orbit: one in April and the second in November. Both of them ended with the explosions of boosters and ships. In the first case, there was no separation of the first stage and the ship, and in the second case, each of them exploded separately.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet made any conclusions on the results of the second unsuccessful rocket launch. In principle, it was less unsuccessful than the first, if that can be said about a case with an emergency outcome. The rocket and ship stayed in the air for about 8 minutes, or almost twice as long as during the first flight. The separation of the first stage and the ship was also successful, and this was the first time that the stage and the ship were separated in hot mode – the ship’s engines ignited even before the separation.
SpaceX, by assembling a rocket for new tests, shows that it is ready for a new Starship push into orbit. Elon Musk probably knows more than he is willing to divulge. It looks very likely that the third launch of the complex will take place in the next few weeks.