SpaceX Launches Third Flight Test Of Starship, World’s Most Powerful Launch System. WATCH

SpaceX successfully launched the third flight test of Starship, the world’s largest and most powerful space launch system, on March 14, 2024. This was Starship’s first successful launch attempt, after two failed flight tests. The fully integrated Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket are together called Starship. The Starship spacecraft is the second stage of the system, while Super Heavy is the upper stage and booster. 

Starship’s third flight test successfully completed objectives such as the burning of both the stages during ascent; opening and closing of the rocket’s payload door, known as the Pez bay door; propellant transfer demonstration during the coast phase; and a controlled re-entry of Starship. The coast phase means that the Super Heavy booster’s Raptor engine burnout was successfully completed.

A few minutes after launch, the Raptor engines of the Starship launch system were ignited during hot-staging separation, as planned. Hot-staging is a process in rocket science in which a particular stage fires its engines before separating from the other stage. 

In the case of the Starship system, Super Heavy’s Raptor engines were ignited before the separation. Following the separation, the Super Heavy booster executed a flip manoeuvre. 

After the Raptor engine burning was complete, the Starship system entered a coast phase, SpaceX said on X (formerly Twitter). 

During the coast phase, Starship exhibited a propellant transfer demonstration. 

The rocket’s payload door was successfully opened and closed, marking the completion of an important objective. 

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that at 5,000 tonnes, Starship is the largest flying object ever made.

During atmospheric re-entry, the ‘super hot’ plasma surrounding the Starship system grew, as seen in a video shared by Musk.