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NASA, SpaceX Mark Progress in Artemis Program With Starship Test Flight

Integrated flight test

NASA, SpaceX Mark Progress in Artemis Program With Starship Test Flight

NASA and SpaceX have reached a significant milestone in the Artemis program with the third integrated flight test of SpaceX’s Starship human landing system. The test flight took place on March 14 at SpaceX’s Starbase orbital launch pad in Texas, NASA said.

Powered by 33 Raptor engines, the Super Heavy booster propelled Starship into orbit. After separation via a hot-staging technique, Starship executed a full-duration ascent burn, reaching its targeted orbit.

A key focus of the test was the first large-scale demonstration of in-orbit cryogenic propellant transfer between internal tanks. The technology is essential for extended missions required by the Artemis program and future exploration goals.

“With each flight test, SpaceX attempts increasingly ambitious objectives for Starship to learn as much as possible for future mission systems development,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, NASA’s HLS program manager.

NASA and SpaceX engineers are currently reviewing flight data to gain further insights into Starship’s performance and inform the continued development of the HLS.

The test flight marks a tangible progress toward the Artemis program’s goal of landing astronauts near the moon’s South Pole. 

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Category: Space

Tags: Artemis lunar landing mission NASA space SpaceX Starship