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SpaceX Starship Flight 4: Milestones and Achievements

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SpaceX Starship Flight 4 Liftoff

On June 6, 2024, SpaceX launched the Starship Test Flight 4 and for the first time, check marked all milestones and achievements. The launch was conducted from Boca Chica Starbase in Texas at 7:50 a.m. in the morning.

Here’s a checklist:

  1. Liftoff with 33 Raptor engines
  2. Hot-stage separation
  3. 30-engine shutdown of Super Heavy
  4. 6 Raptor engine ignition on Starship
  5. Super heavy flip maneuver
  6. Jettison hot-stage adapter
  7. Booster landing
  8. Starship entered orbit
  9. Starship survived reentry heat
  10. Starship performed a landing burn
  11. Starship performed the first flip maneuver
  12. Starship performed its first soft splashdown landing

The first stage booster lifted off and completed a full-duration burn with its 33 Raptor engines. After Max Q, the flight executed hot-stage separation and shut down 30 engines. On the other hand, Starship ignited its 6 Raptor engines to lead the mission to space before separation. The Super Heavy booster completed the flip maneuver, followed by a boostback burn to return the Super Heavy booster to the splashdown zone.

The booster landed on the splashdown zone in the Gulf of Mexico after a landing burn. The total flight time for the booster is seven minutes and 24 seconds. Starship with its engine power led the mission into a planned trajectory for the coast. The ship remained in orbit for over 30 minutes in mission time.

Then began the controlled reentry phase for peak heating and max aerodynamics pressure. Compared to the third flight test, this new flight remained stable and didn’t roll over. The vehicle maintained its descent with its flaps, which later caught fire due to the maximum heat. However, the flap survived up to the last seconds and helped the ship perform a flip maneuver for a soft splashdown in the Indian Ocean.

The mission concluded in 1 hour and six minutes of the liftoff. Throughout the mission, Starlink provided the launch coverage even during the max heat.

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This is the first time the Starship test flight completed all milestones including the landing. The next aim would be to reaffirm all of the test phases and maybe an attempt to land the ship on a solid landing zone instead of the ocean.

(source – SpaceX)

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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