Skip to main content

SpaceX shares stunning night shot of its Super Heavy booster

SpaceX has released a breathtaking image (below left) of its Super Heavy booster, which has been moved to the launchpad ahead of the Starship’s fourth test flight. It shows the world’s most powerful launch vehicle on the pad at night, with a dramatic star-filled sky as the backdrop.

Super Heavy booster for Flight 4 moved to the pad at Starbase pic.twitter.com/A3aYgdPt8V

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 4, 2024

No date has been set for the fourth flight of the Super Heavy and Starship spacecraft — collectively known as the Starship — as SpaceX is still waiting for a flight permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but the company said recently that it hopes to get the mighty rocket airborne from its Starbase facility in southern Texas in May. As it moves toward the launch, the final preparation work will involve SpaceX lifting the Starship rocket onto the top of the Super Heavy booster.

SpaceX has been making promising progress with its next-generation rocket. While the first two test flights last year ended only seconds into flight, the third one last month achieved many of its goals, including getting the spacecraft to orbit.

There’s still much testing to be done, but when it’s finally ready, the rocket will be used by NASA for crew and cargo missions to the moon as part of the Artemis missions and could even be used for the first crewed mission to Mars, possibly in the 2030s.

A modified version of the Starship spacecraft is set to be used in the Artemis III mission in 2026, which will see the first female and first person of color step onto the lunar surface. The pair will head to lunar orbit aboard an Orion spacecraft powered by NASA’s new SLS rocket, where they’ll board the lunar space station. They’ll then enter the Starship rocket for the short trip to the surface of the moon.

The Orion has already been on a successful uncrewed test flight around the moon and is set to carry the first astronauts along the same path in the Artemis II test mission, which is currently scheduled for September 2025.

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 SpaceX’s Crew Dragon take one of its shortest journeys on Thursday
A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the ISS.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

Four International Space Station (ISS) crew members will climb aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Thursday and take it on a very short journey.

Read more
SpaceX Falcon 9 booster equals flight record, but does not land this time
A Falcon 9 booster launches for a record-equalling 20th time.

A Falcon 9 booster launches for a record-equaling 20th time. SpaceX

SpaceX flew a first-stage Falcon 9 booster for the 20th time on Saturday, equaling a record set by another Falcon 9 booster earlier this month.

Read more
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket just completed a milestone mission
A Falcon 9 achieves SpaceX's 300th booster landing.

SpaceX has been launching and landing rockets since 2015, though some of those early touchdowns didn't go as planned and ended in a ball of flames.

These days, the landing process has been pretty much perfected, and on Tuesday evening, the spaceflight company achieved its 300th successful first-stage touchdown. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk congratulated his team for achieving the feat.

Read more