Skip to main content

SpaceX reveals target date for next test of Starship megarocket

The world's most powerful rocket on the launchpad.
The world’s most powerful rocket on the launchpad at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX

SpaceX is itching to send its Starship rocket on its fourth test flight, with company CEO Elon Musk recently suggesting the launch could take place sometime next month.

Now, the company has for the first time named a specific target date for the flight: Wednesday, June 5.

The announcement was made in a post on social media. The proposed schedule is dependent upon regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA has yet to publish the results of its investigation into SpaceX’s third Starship test flight, which took place in March, but an update could come any day now.

The 120-meter-tall Starship rocket consists of two parts — the Super Heavy booster and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft. Generating an incredible 17 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Starship is the most powerful rocket ever to fly, and could one day help to send the first astronauts to Mars. Before that, and after testing is complete, the Starship is expected to fly crew and cargo to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program, which will use not just SpaceX, but multiple commercial partners for a string of lunar missions.

The Starship first flew in April of last year, but exploded just minutes after launch. A second test flight in November also ended abruptly, though that time the vehicle managed to achieve stage separation when the spacecraft successfully disengaged from the booster. The most recent test reached orbit for the first time and was by far the most successful of the three missions.

“The fourth flight test turns our focus from achieving orbit to demonstrating the ability to return and reuse Starship and Super Heavy,” SpaceX said on its website, adding that the primary objectives of the mission will be to carry out a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico with the Super Heavy booster, and to achieve a controlled entry of the Starship with the aim of splashing down in the Indian Ocean.

The upcoming flight, like the first three, will launch from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. However, SpaceX is also seeking to conduct Starship launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of plans to dramatically increase the flight frequency of its next-generation reusable rocket.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Watch this SpaceX Raptor engine blow up during testing
A SpaceX Raptor rocket engines explodes during testing.

An explosion occurred on Thursday at SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, sending flames and a huge plume of smoke into the sky.

Reports from NASASpaceflight, which runs a live stream of the site, suggested it occurred during the ground-based testing of a Raptor rocket engine of the kind used by the company’s next-generation Starship rocket.

Read more
SpaceX’s Starlink internet service reaches milestone
A Starlink dish.

SpaceX’s Starlink service now has more than 3 million customers globally, the company announced this week.

“Starlink is connecting more than 3M people with high-speed internet across nearly 100 countries, territories, and many other markets,” SpaceX said in a social media post on Tuesday that also included a short video showing Starlink satellite dishes set up and providing an internet connection in various places around the world.

Read more
SpaceX photos show important Starship preflight rehearsal
SpaceX's Starship rocket on the launchpad.

SpaceX's Starship rocket sits on the launchpad at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas. SpaceX

SpaceX is another step closer to the fourth test flight of the Starship, the world’s most powerful rocket.

Read more