SpaceX Set for Fourth Starship Flight Test on June 6

starship fourth test

SpaceX is preparing for the fourth flight test of its Starship rocket, scheduled to launch on Thursday, June 6, from Starbase in Texas. The 120-minute test window will open at 7:00 a.m. CT.

The company received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to modify its existing vehicle operator license (VOL 23-129) for the Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle at its Cameron County, Texas site. Following a comprehensive evaluation of all applicable Vehicle Operator License requirements and confirming the sufficiency of existing environmental documentation, the FAA issued the modification on June 4, 2024.

This modification allows SpaceX to conduct multiple flights under the current mission profile and vehicle configuration for the Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program in Cameron County. This approval paves the way for continued development and testing of SpaceX’s advanced launch system.

A live webcast of the flight test will begin approximately 30 minutes before liftoff and will be available on the SpaceX website and on X @SpaceX. The launch schedule is subject to change due to the dynamic nature of developmental testing. Followers are encouraged to stay tuned to the X account for updates.

Starship’s third flight test marked significant progress toward creating reliable reusable rockets. The test achieved several milestones, including Starship’s first reentry from space, the first operation of its payload door in space, and a successful propellant transfer demonstration. These accomplishments provided crucial data for future missions, such as returning astronauts to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program.

The upcoming fourth flight test will focus on demonstrating the reusability of Starship and the Super Heavy booster. Key objectives include executing a landing burn and achieving a soft splashdown of the Super Heavy booster in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a controlled entry of Starship.

To achieve these goals, SpaceX has made several software and hardware upgrades to enhance reliability based on lessons learned from the previous flight. Operational changes, including jettisoning the Super Heavy’s hot stage following boostback, will reduce the booster’s mass for the final flight phase.

The flight will follow a similar trajectory to the previous test, with Starship aiming to splash down in the Indian Ocean. This path eliminates the need for a deorbit burn for reentry, maximizing public safety while allowing for the primary objective of a controlled reentry.

SpaceX’s ongoing development of Starship aims to create a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The fourth flight test represents another step toward realizing this vision of a rapidly reusable spacefaring future.