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SpaceX authorized the launch of the Starship rocket on Friday

SpaceX authorized the launch of the Starship rocket on Friday

Would the second one be correct? The US aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), gave the green light last Wednesday SpaceX Even the airlineElon Musk tent for For the second time to launch a spacecraft rocketthe strongest tower ever built, after a spectacular explosion in April.

In a press release, the FAA noted that the company “has now met all required standards,” particularly with regard to safety, environment and financial responsibility, after… The first launch of the new generation rocket failed. “We are targeting Friday, November 17 for the second soft launch of Starship », SpaceX posted on X (formerly Twitter), following the FAA announcement. A two-hour launch window will open at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. GMT) for launch from SpaceX’s base in Boca Chica, Texas.

Fear of environmental damage

Starship’s development is being closely followed by NASAwhich relies on this ship for Artemis’s missions returning to moon. The modified version of the machine should actually serve as a lunar lander to deposit astronauts on the lunar surface. On April 20, the Starship spacecraft lifted off for the first time in its full configuration from Texas. But several engines did not work, and SpaceX teams deliberately exploded the rocket after a few minutes.

The liftoff propelled a cloud of dust several kilometers northwest of the launch pad, leaving it severely damaged. Pieces of concrete were thrown under the power of the engines. The failure led to an environmental and safety investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and Several environmental NGOs have announced their intention to file a lawsuit against SpaceX. “We fear that the second launch will again cause significant environmental damage,” Jared Margolis, a lawyer for the non-governmental Center for Biological Diversity, told AFP.

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“An almost complete circumnavigation of the Earth”

The spacecraft is rocket A giant 120 meters high, consisting of two stages: the super-heavy propulsion stage and its 33 engines, and above it is the spacecraft, which thus gives its name to the entire rocket. Its real innovation is that it should be fully reusable, with both stages designed to return to Earth on the launch pad – thus cutting costs.

The voyage plan will be the same as it was in April: the ship should attempt to make an “almost complete circumnavigation of the sea.” Land The billionaire described this by saying: “And diving into the water somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Hawaii.” Therefore, technically, it will not reach Earth’s orbit, but will be “just below it.”