Elon Musk’s SpaceX gets launch license for Starship’s third flight | Technology News



Elon Musk’s SpaceX is now ready to launch Starship, the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built, after the US Federal Aviation Administration granted it a launch license.


SpaceX shared an image earlier this month of the “Megabay” at its Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas. The picture showed four Super Heavy boosters that are ready for launch. So far, Starship has been on two test launches; one in April and one in November. It exploded during both.



But the explosion in November happened much later in the flight plan than it did in April, meaning that SpaceX has made considerable progress in building a launch vehicle bigger than any before it. Musk said in November that the second launch ended in an explosion because it had no payload and that the rocket would have actually reached orbit if it had one.

“Starship” usually refers to both the Super Heavy booster and the Starship spacecraft on top of it. Together, they form the next generation of SpaceX’s launch systems that are designed to carry both cargo and astronauts to Earth orbit, and maybe even beyond.

The first stage of Starship is the Super Heavy booster and it is built to be completely reusable. It is designed to re-enter the planet’s atmosphere and land back at the launch site after launch. It is gigantic at about 69 metres tall and 9 metres wide and will carry as much as 3,400 tons of propellant. It will be powered by a mind-boggling total of 33 Raptor engines that will give it up to 7,600 tons of thrust.

The second stage of the system is the Starship spacecraft that has an integrated payload section made to carry both crew and cargo. SpaceX even says that it is capable of point-to-point transport on Earth. The payload capacity is between 100 tonnes and 150 tonnes and it will be powered by three run-off-the-mill raptor engines and three special Raptor engines modified for use in the vacuum of space.

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First uploaded on: 14-03-2024 at 13:07 IST


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