LIFTOFF: SpaceX Starship Lifts Off in Texas, Makes Good Progress in Third Flight Test

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TEXAS – The third flight test of Starship was a success but also has areas to improve upon after Thursday ‘s test as 33 Raptor engines fired up and roared to life.

At liftoff, Starship weighed over 5,000 tons and is the largest flying object ever made.

Minutes later, SpaceX’s Dan Huot made the call, “We are making the call now that we have lost (the) ship,” he said. “No splashdown today, but again just it’s incredible to see how much further we got this time around.”

SpaceX did lose both Starship and the Super Heavy booster earlier during the past two flight tests.

Starship’s second flight test achieved a number of major milestones and provided invaluable data to continue rapidly developing Starship. Each of these flight tests continue to be just that: a test. They aren’t occurring in a lab or on a test stand, but are putting flight hardware in a flight environment to maximize learning.

The third flight test aims to build on what we’ve learned from previous flights while attempting a number of ambitious objectives, including the successful ascent burn of both stages, opening and closing Starship’s payload door, a propellant transfer demonstration during the upper stage’s coast phase, the first ever re-light of a Raptor engine while in space, and a controlled reentry of Starship.

It will also fly a new trajectory, with Starship targeted to splashdown in the Indian Ocean. This new flight path enables us to attempt new techniques like in-space engine burns while maximizing public safety.

This rapid iterative development approach has been the basis for all of SpaceX’s major innovative advancements, including Falcon, Dragon, and Starlink.

Recursive improvement is essential as we work to build a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, help humanity return to the Moon, and ultimately travel to Mars and beyond.

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