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SpaceX Set to Showcase Key Demonstration in Upcoming Starship Launch

SpaceX could try to show NASA something important during the third test flight of its huge Starship rocket.

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SpaceX Set to Showcase Key Demonstration in Upcoming Starship Launch

SpaceX Set to Showcase Key Demonstration in Upcoming Starship Launch: According to the government agency, SpaceX could try to show NASA something important during the third test flight of its huge Starship rocket.

SpaceX Set to Showcase Key Demonstration in Upcoming Starship Launch:

The next flight of Starship will likely include “a propellant transfer demonstration,” according to a NASA official on Monday. However, an agency rep said Tuesday that the plan could change, which is common in the space business.

SpaceX’s second Starship flight took place last month. The test showed that the company was making progress on building the monster rocket, but it wasn’t able to complete the full mission. As one of the goals of the propellant transfer test, the rocket would have to go into space.

If the try succeeds, Starship will go beyond the limits it has reached so far.

“NASA and SpaceX are looking at different ways to allow the demonstration to happen during a flight test of Starship and the Super Heavy rocket together.” “However, no firm choices have been made about when it will happen,” NASA spokeswoman Jimi Russell told CNBC.

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CNBC asked SpaceX for a comment on the plans, but they didn’t answer.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said soon after the flight test in November that the gear for a third Starship launch “should be ready to fly in 3 to 4 weeks.” But that date rests on SpaceX reviewing the data from the second trip, making preparations on the ground, and getting regulatory approval. The Federal Aviation Administration is in charge of an investigation into the mishap that needs to be finished before the company launches Starship again.

The “propellant transfer demonstration” is part of a $53.2 million “Tipping Point” deal that NASA gave to SpaceX in 2020. NASA has asked SpaceX to create and test “Cryogenic Fluid Management” (CFM) technology as part of the deal. The agency says this technology is necessary for future trips to the moon and Mars.

Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance were both given contracts that were similar but worth different amounts of money.

Two propellants, liquid oxygen and liquid methane, that are kept at very low temperatures power the engines of the Starship.

It takes a lot of propellant for the rocket to get into orbit around the Earth. To send goods to other planets, SpaceX needs to add more cryogenic propellant to Starship.

For that to happen, “Starship tankers” must be sent into orbit to bring more fuel to the main Starship rocket. This procedure is comparable to aerial refueling, which the military frequently performs to help jets fly farther.

As part of the NASA deal, SpaceX will move 10 metric tons of liquid oxygen from one tank to another. Starship won’t meet up with another tanker rocket for this demonstration, but NASA sees it as a step forward.

“The goal is to make technology for moving cryogenic fluids and measuring fill levels better by evaluating the risks of the technology, testing designs and prototypes, and showing them off in space.”

NASA says the demonstration will lower risks for future space missions that will move big amounts of propellant.

As part of NASA’s Artemis program, SpaceX has a deal worth up to $4.2 billion to send humans to the moon. This means that NASA has a lot riding on the success of the program.

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