April 17, 2024

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SpaceX was approved for its third spacecraft launch attempt on Thursday

SpaceX was approved for its third spacecraft launch attempt on Thursday

SpaceX's next-generation Starship spacecraft aboard its powerful Super Heavy rocket prepares for a third launch from the company's Boca Chica launch pad on an unmanned test flight, near Brownsville, Texas, on March 13, 2024.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Elon Musk's SpaceX is preparing to launch its third Starship test flight on Thursday morning after federal regulators approved the attempt.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday released SpaceX Launch license The company needed to fly the latest Starship prototype.

The FAA said SpaceX “met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements.”

SpaceX is targeting a launch window between 8 a.m. ET and 9:50 a.m. ET on Thursday. The company plans to broadcast the launch live, with a webcast starting 30 minutes before the window opens.

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The company aims to build on last year's Starship prototype flights, the second and newest of which reached space in November. The test flights had mixed results, with both missiles flying for a few minutes and achieving some milestones before eventually being destroyed due to problems.

SpaceX and the FAA investigated launch problems in November, which led to the company making changes to the giant rocket before the third attempt.

Additionally, SpaceX said it aims to demonstrate new capabilities with the third Starship flight, including opening and closing the spacecraft door, transferring fuel during flight in a NASA demonstration, and landing in the Indian Ocean.

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