SpaceX lands on potential date for next Starship test flight


SpaceX has landed on a potential date for its next Starship test flight: March 14.

Starship is SpaceX’s massive rocket that will one day transport life from Earth to Mars.

It has already been tested twice, with its first two Integrated Flight Tests (IFT) coming last year in April and November.

Both flights culminated in a lot of lessons learned, with the April IFT-1 flight successfully launching but failing to separate from its first-stage booster and eventually exploding just under four minutes after it launched.

In November, SpaceX initiated IFT-2. This flight successfully separated from Super Heavy just under three minutes after liftoff, but it exploded shortly after.

It needs to be clear that these were both seen as valuable flight tests. They gave SpaceX the needed information to improve, and they will eventually land astronauts on the Moon for Atermis 3, a NASA mission. The agency chose Starship for the mission but will not launch earlier than 2026.

SpaceX has been working with the Federal Aviation Adminsitration (FAA) to gain approval for the IFT-3 test launch, and it appears it could potentially occur as soon as next week.

SpaceX said on X just a few hours ago that Starship’s next launch “could come as soon as March 14, pending regulatory approval:”

We reported last week that SpaceX had to attend to seventeen corrective actions that it recognized and submitted to the FAA. Seven had to do with the Super Heavy first-stage booster, while the final ten had to do with the upper stage.

SpaceX nears third Starship launch clearance following FAA investigation closure

According to a statement on February 26, SpaceX has completed these corrective actions (via

“SpaceX has implemented hardware changes on upcoming Starship vehicles to improve leak reduction, fire protection, and refined operations associated with the propellant vent to increase reliability. The previously planned move from a hydraulic steering system for the vehicle’s Raptor engines to an entirely electric system also removes potential sources of flammability.”

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SpaceX lands on potential date for next Starship test flight


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