SpaceX rocket.  The most powerful rocket in the world that can fly today

The launch window for the fourth test flight of the Starship rocket opens on Thursday. After partial success, SpaceX hopes to return both sections of the ship safely to Earth. However, the launch will take place under some controversy.

According to SpaceX, the launch window for the spacecraft’s rocket test flight will open on Thursday, June 6 at 7 a.m. CST (2 p.m. Poland time). If all goes according to plan, the “world’s most powerful rocket” will lift off from Starbase in Texas and ascend into Earth’s space before returning to the atmosphere.

Valuable experience

For its fourth test flight, SpaceX is aiming for a controlled landing of both components of the Starship system — the orbiter and the SuperHeavy booster that helps put the Starship into orbit. This demonstration aims to show that both elements of the system can be used repeatedly, which could reduce the costs of space travel, including very long trips – to the Moon or even Mars.

During its previous test flight in mid-March, the spacecraft performed its first atmospheric re-entry maneuver from space. At this point it was destroyed, but during the flight engineers collected so much data that it is difficult to overestimate it. According to the company, various elements of hardware and software have been optimized based on it, which will make it possible to achieve landings. The flight plan was also changed, including the moment of separation of the booster, which will reduce its mass in the final phase of the flight.

The spacecraft will follow a similar path to its last flight, allowing it to land on the ocean. Such a path does not require starting engines during re-entry and reduces potential threats to people and buildings on Earth.

The spacecraft at SpaceX Base in Texas, December 2023New Point Press/Shutterstock

The task has been cancelled

The test flight will take place a few days after the cancellation of DearMoon, a private initiative of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. In 2018, he purchased all the seats for the spacecraft’s circumnavigation of the moon scheduled for December 2023, then offered them away for free to selected creators and artists from around the world. However, the project faced significant delays, which discouraged the project owner from continuing with the task.

– I signed the contract in 2018, assuming that Dear Moon will be launched by the end of 2023 – Maezawa wrote on social media on Saturday, June 1. – It is impossible to plan ahead in such a situation, and I feel bad about making the crew members wait any longer, hence the difficult decision to cancel the mission.

The spacecraft is a two-stage rocket about 122 meters high. Designed as a cheaper and more powerful alternative to the Falcon 9 rocket, this vehicle is scheduled to be used by NASA in the coming years during the Artemis mission to return humans to the moon.

Bab, Reuters,

Main image source: New Point Press/Shutterstock

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