How To Watch Musk’s SpaceX Launch Its Massive Starship Rocket
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How To Watch Musk’s SpaceX Launch Its Massive Starship Rocket


SpaceX is set to launch its Starship rocket on Thursday morning for a third test flight, after previous missions ended in flames and a huge milestone in Elon Musk’s ambitions to send humans to Mars that could ultimately pave the way for future lunar missions and a base on the moon.

SpaceX’s mega rocket Starship being prepared for it’s third test flight from Starbase in Boca Chica, … [+] Texas.

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Key Facts

The massive Starship rocket is set to launch from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, which does not have an official viewing site but launches can reportedly be seen from nearby beaches.

Liftoff is scheduled for around 8:02 a.m. Central Time (9:02 a.m. ET, 6:02 a.m. PT), inside the 110-minute launch window but later than initially expected as boats needed to be cleared from the “keep out area” in the Gulf of Mexico.

A live webcast of the launch will be available to watch on SpaceX’s website and its channel on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

SpaceX said the livestream will begin about 30 minutes before liftoff, around 6:30 a.m. CT (7:30 a.m. ET, 5:30 a.m. PT).

The flight marks the third test run of SpaceX’s Starship rocket and is set to blast the rocket into space before returning to Earth and splashing down somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

SpaceX said the mission will hopefully include firing one of Starship’s Raptor engines in space for the first time; opening and closing the rocket’s payload door; an in-flight propellant transfer; and demonstrate “a controlled reentry” back to Earth from space.

Why Is Spacex’s Third Starship Test Important?

Standing at around 400 feet tall, Starship is the largest and most powerful rocket ever developed. It is central to Elon Musk and SpaceX’s ambitions of ferrying cargo, and eventually humans, to the moon, Mars and beyond and the rocket is expected to play a key role in NASA’s plans to return American astronauts to the moon. SpaceX says the vehicle will be able to “carry up to 100 people on long-duration, interplanetary flights,” help deliver satellites and enable “the development of a moon base” when finished and it is intended as the first reusable rocket, which would drastically lower the costs associated with reaching space. The company said the launch “aims to build on what we’ve learned” from previous test flights. Though both of these ended in fire—the first damaged the launch pad when it exploded seconds after launch and the second blew up shortly after separation, which the company described as “a rapid unscheduled disassembly”—they were hailed as a success by the company and scientists, who said the data gathered will be invaluable for improving the rocket. “This rapid iterative development approach has been the basis for all of SpaceX’s major innovative advancements, including Falcon, Dragon, and Starlink,” SpaceX said. “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.”

Further Reading


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