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Musk’s Starship targetting Nov 17 launch

November 14, 2023

SpaceX could launch its second test flight of its Starship rocket on Novembr 17th. However, the rocket company says that it is still – as at November 13th – awaiting formal permission to come from the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies. Elon Musk, in a Tweet/X on Novembr 14th said: “Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch.”

Officially, “Starship preparing to launch as early as November 17th, pending final regulatory approval,” SpaceX wrote on X.

The potential launch from SpaceX’s Starbase test site at Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, Texas will mark the company’s second test flight of a massive orbital class Starship and its Super Heavy booster. This rocket is the largest and most powerful ever built. SpaceX launched its first Starship test flight on April 20th, but it ended in an explosion shortly after liftoff.

Musk added that whether or not Starship launches in November hinges on government approval for the test flight. “Assuming regulatory approval,” Musk wrote on X following SpaceX’s announcement.

The second flight will likely follow the same plan as the first test, with SpaceX launching toward a target splashdown site off the coast of Hawaii to test re-entry and landing techniques, while the Super Heavy booster makes a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Starship’s first flight test provided numerous lessons learned that directly contributed to several upgrades to both the vehicle and ground infrastructure to improve the probability of success on future flights,” SpaceX wrote in a mission summary. “The second flight test will debut a hot-stage separation system and a new electronic Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system for Super Heavy Raptor engines, in addition to reinforcements to the pad foundation and a water-cooled steel flame deflector, among many other enhancements.”

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