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Starship flight 4 in 3-5 weeks, spacecraft must endure hypersonic reentry

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SpaceX Starship Reentry to Earth's Atmosphere

Earlier today, SpaceX Founder and CEO, Elon Musk hyped the Starship test flight 4 saying that the company could attempt this launch in 3-5 weeks from now.

The third flight test happened in mid-March and brought several new milestones compared to the past two flights. It achieved successful liftoff, and stage separation, leading the second stage to orbit. The flight demonstrated propellant transfer technology and the opening and closing of its payload door. Starship then experienced Earth’s atmosphere for the first time.

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The spacecraft went hypersonic during the reentry and helped the company collect valuable heating and vehicle controls during the descent. Importantly, the heat shield on the spacecraft worked quite well and provided much-needed data to increase heat endurance for the next flight.

SpaceX Starship goes hypersonic during reentry

SpaceX Starship Spacecraft goes hypersonic during reentry to Earth’s atmosphere (Source – SpaceX)

However, after minutes of showdown, the spacecraft lost signal in the air but before landing on the targeted splash zone. The company confirmed that the test flight 3 mission remained in action for 49 minutes, the longest it has ever survived.

Musk said that the objective for Flight 4 will be to get past max heating for the Starship spacecraft or at least further than last time.

SpaceX Starship Integrated Flight taking off

SpaceX integrated Starship flight lifting off from Starbase in Texas

This achievement will help SpaceX to focus on mastering designated landing. Meanwhile, the rocket company has moved a new Super Heavy booster to the orbital launch mount and soon mount the Starship on top.

Given the fact that SpaceX is aiming for a 3-5 launch window, we may see Starship test flight 4 somewhere in June this year. However, a launch license from the FAA is still pending.

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Mel Trivalo is a senior author at EONMSK.com, he began his early career in electronics in 2021 and turned his attention towards Space and Rocket Science. Mel likes to explore new technologies and swings baseball to run through creative thoughts.

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