SpaceX successfully launches its Starship rocket for third time

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SpaceX's Starship rocket blasted off for its third test flight, moving closer to the goal of carrying NASA astronauts to the moon's surface

SpaceX successfully launches its Starship rocket for third time

On Thursday morning, SpaceX successfully launched its Starship rocket, the world's most powerful, for the third time.

This test flight marked a significant achievement for the company, considering that the first attempt last April ended in a midair explosion.

The goal of this test flight was to push the deep-space rocket system further than ever before, aiming for an hourlong integrated flight test. If successful, the spacecraft will make a splashdown in the Indian Ocean, setting the stage for more intricate test flights and, ultimately, carrying NASA astronauts to the surface of the moon.

In its previous attempt, Starship managed to achieve greater altitude, but unfortunately, the flight ended with a loss of signal and the rocket exploding.

Race against China

Starship plays a crucial role in NASA's Artemis program, designed to return U.S. astronauts to the moon as early as September 2026. This program puts NASA in a race against China to establish a permanent lunar outpost and pave the way for future deep-space settlements.

SpaceX views the Starship system as essential to its mission of sending humans to Mars for the first time. Notably, NASA has selected Starship as the landing vehicle for its astronauts during the Artemis III mission, scheduled for liftoff in September 2026.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has emphasized that the primary objective of these initial test flights is to propel Starship to orbital speeds, which are necessary for the spacecraft to achieve a stable orbit around Earth.

Although this flight did not aim to reach orbit, Starship is expected to make a controlled landing in the Indian Ocean, approximately 370 kilometers (229.9 miles) away from the nearest land mass.

Source: Newsroom

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