LifestyleSpaceX Aims for Thrilling Starship 3rd Flight Test in February

SpaceX Aims for Thrilling Starship 3rd Flight Test in February

a rocket on a launch pad fires its engines, creating a massive plume of fire and smoke
The Starship upper-stage prototype Ship 28 conducts a six-engine static fire test on Dec. 20, 2023.
(Image credit: SpaceX)

Starship could return to flight as early as next month!

SpaceX’s massive, reusable Starship rocket made two test flights in 2023, the first in April and a second in November. Company representatives now say the third such mission could come as soon as February 2024.

During a media teleconference on Tuesday, SpaceX Vice President of Customer Operations and Integration Jessica Jensen said, “From a hardware readiness perspective, we are targeting to be ready in January. And then, from an FAA licensing perspective, we’re getting a license for flight three,” marking a promising sign for Starship’s progress.

Another exciting discussion topic was the off-Earth propellant transfer that SpaceX and NASA are planning as part of the Artemis 3 mission in the coming years. NASA selected Starship as its crewed lander for Artemis 3, but because rockets and spacecraft burn through most of their fuel while escaping Earth’s deep gravity well, a massive vehicle like Starship would need to be re-fueled in orbit before continuing on to the moon. Jensen’s insight also shed light on the propellant transfer capability of the upcoming mission.

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