Starship launch livestream: Watch SpaceX’s third attempted launch here

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SpaceX will attempt its third and most ambitious Starship test flight today, with launch expected at about 12 GMT. The company is aiming for the rocket to reach space and then safely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere for a splashdown in the Indian Ocean.

The launch from SpaceX’s site at Boca Chica, Texas, will be SpaceX’s third. It follows the first test in April last year, which exploded before the first and second stages could separate, and another in November that saw the first stage reach space but self-destruct due to a loss of telemetry data, with the second stage blowing up just after separation.

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If successful, this mission will see the craft reach space before opening and closing its payload door as a test. It will also attempt to shuffle fuel from one tank to another as an experimental first step towards the eventual refuelling of one Starship by another, which will be vital for long-range missions.

The final stage will then relight its Raptor engines – which has never been done in space before – for a controlled re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere where it will splash down into the ocean.

The Federal Aviation Authority granted permission for the test flight on 13 March, the day before the planned launch, and tweeted that SpaceX had “met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements”.

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Starship is the most powerful rocket ever built. Its 121 metre length is made up of two stages: a booster and a spacecraft, both of which are designed to be reusable to keep costs low and enable fast turnarounds between flights. The ultimate aim of the project is to put humans on the moon and, later, Mars.


  • space flight/
  • Rockets

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