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SpaceX Rocket test flight scheduled for Monday

Picture: Zuma Press

SpaceX plans to conduct an initial flight test of its Starship rocket as early as Monday, according to a recent tweet by the company. The demonstration launch will be a landmark test for the vehicle and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who envisions using the rocket to one day conduct a manned mission to Mars.

The test flight, which was permitted by air-safety regulators, could take off as early as 8 a.m. Eastern time and is expected to last about 90 minutes under optimal conditions. The company has cautioned, however, that the outcome of the test is uncertain, and that success will be measured by what can be learned from the experience.

SpaceX has been working on Starship for years, and the vehicle has taken on an increasingly important role at the company, which plans to use it for its Starlink satellite-internet business, deploying satellites for customers, and handling flights for private astronauts.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has also contracted SpaceX to transport two US astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the moon using a version of Starship in 2025.

SpaceX has already made significant progress in this direction with its Falcon rockets and the reusable Dragon spacecraft, and the company is now pushing the envelope further with the Starship program. Other companies, such as Blue Origin and Stoke Space Technologies, are also working on developing reusable rockets, reflecting the growing interest and competition in this area.

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