SpaceX Achieves Successful Static Fire Test for Starship Ahead of Fourth Test Flight

First 6-engine static fire test of Starship

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Insider Brief:

  • SpaceX recently completed a static fire test of the Starship rocket’s super heavy booster.
  • Elon Musk has hinted at even more ambitious plans for the rocket, suggesting that future iterations of Starship could journey to other star systems.
  • Moving forward, SpaceX plans to accelerate its testing timeline dramatically, anticipating shorter turnaround between prototype flights.
  • Image credit: SpaceX via X


In a recent full-duration static fire test, all six Raptor engines on the upper stage of SpaceX’s Starship were successfully ignited, a first for the giant rocket and a significant milestone for its development. This comes just 11 days after Starship’s third test flight where it achieved its first orbital launch but ended in the loss of both the upper-stage rocket and the Super Heavy booster.

SpaceX envisions Starship as a versatile workhorse, with early missions focusing on deploying Starlink satellites and supporting NASA’s Artemis program, an initiative aimed at returning humans to the Moon. The ultimate ambition, however, is grander: establishing a permanent human presence on Mars by 2050.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, hinted at even more audacious plans, suggesting that future iterations of Starship could journey to other star systems as reported by the Independent.

Looking ahead, SpaceX aims to accelerate its testing timeline dramatically. Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s COO, anticipates a much shorter turnaround between prototype flights, potentially dropping from months to days. Sources report the next test flight could happen as early as May of 2024.

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