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Musk sees fourth flight of SpaceX’s Starship in 3-5 weeks

Musk sees fourth flight of SpaceX's Starship in 3-5 weeks

SpaceX’s Starship rocket, a pioneering vehicle designed for lunar missions and beyond, is slated for its fourth flight within the next 3-5 weeks, according to Elon Musk, the company’s Chief Executive. Musk shared this update on the social media platform X, outlining the primary objective of the upcoming mission.

In response to a question regarding Starship’s status, Musk emphasized the goal for the spacecraft to surpass the maximum heating experienced during its previous flight or, at the very least, to achieve a greater distance than before.

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Earlier this year, Starship made significant progress by completing nearly an entire test flight in space during its third attempt, reaching a distance farther than ever before. However, the spacecraft encountered a critical setback upon its return to Earth.

During a webcast of the flight, SpaceX commentators reported a loss of communication with Starship from two satellite systems simultaneously as the spacecraft re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed. The spacecraft was approaching a planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean, approximately an hour after its launch from south Texas.

Moments after a live video feed showed high-definition images of the spacecraft enveloped in a reddish glow due to re-entry friction, contact with Starship was lost. SpaceX later confirmed that the spacecraft had been “lost,” indicating it was either incinerated or fragmented under the stress of re-entry.