Stacked on the launchpad, SpaceX readies the third test launch of its massive Starship rocket

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SpaceX's next-generation mega rocket is group to motorboat connected a cardinal trial formation Thursday greeting successful a bid to show caller technologies and techniques that will beryllium important connected early missions to nan satellite and beyond.

The upcoming motorboat will beryllium nan rocket’s 3rd and astir eager trial flight, according to SpaceX. The arena will beryllium intimately watched because nan astir 400-foot-tall booster, known arsenic Starship, is expected to play an important portion successful NASA’s return-to-the-moon program.

Starship will motorboat from SpaceX’s Starbase trial tract successful Boca Chica, Texas. Liftoff is expected astir 8 a.m. ET, but timing is tentative and could alteration based connected nan rocket’s position and upwind conditions astir nan motorboat site.

The motorboat will beryllium streamed unrecorded connected SpaceX's website opening astir 7:30 a.m. ET.

With this flight, SpaceX is hoping to show that Starship tin transportation retired a controlled re-entry done Earth’s ambiance earlier splashing down successful nan Indian Ocean. Before that, nan trial besides includes respective different objectives from nan rocket’s erstwhile 2 outings. This clip around, SpaceX will effort to occurrence 1 of Starship’s Raptor engines while successful space, unfastened and adjacent nan vehicle’s payload door, and transportation propellant betwixt 2 of Starship’s tanks successful orbit.

Many of these techniques could thief SpaceX transportation retired early missions to deploy satellites, arsenic good arsenic group nan shape for satellite missions arsenic portion of NASA’s Artemis program.

Starship was selected by NASA to transportation astronauts to nan lunar aboveground during nan upcoming Artemis III mission, which could motorboat successful 2026.

Starship's debut flight last April was a destructive one, ending pinch nan rocket exploding respective minutes aft liftoff. A second Starship launch in November achieved respective milestones, including separation of nan first-stage booster known arsenic Super Heavy and nan upper-stage Starship spacecraft, but the company yet mislaid interaction pinch nan vehicle.

Denise Chow

Denise Chow is simply a newsman for NBC News Science focused connected wide subject and ambiance change.