SpaceX performs a crucial test on Starship 28 before a possible Flight 3 launch in March



Elon Musk’s SpaceX completed a crucial test on Starship 28 that was needed before the upcoming Flight 3 orbital launch of the space vehicle.

SpaceX performed a wet dress rehearsal on Starship 28 (Ship 28) stacked on the Super Heavyer Booster 10 (B10) rocket at Starbase, Texas. This evaluation is most probably the final step before SpaceX goes for the Flight 3 orbital launch test.

However, last year, SpaceX performed a 33-engine static fire test after the wet dress rehearsal before the Starship Flight 1 launch. But this time, SpaceX already completed this major test back in January.

SpaceX also released amazing imagery of the wet dress rehearsal propellant load test on Ship 28 from the event. The darkness, the Godzilla-sized structure of the Starship, and the lights reflecting on the steam clouds created by the super-cold liquid oxygen make these photos much more majestic and grandiose.

Fully integrated Starship 28 (Ship 28 + Booster 10) during a wet dress rehearsal at Starbase, Texas in preparation for Flight 3 test ahead.
Fully integrated Starship 28 (Ship 28 + Booster 10) during a wet dress rehearsal at Starbase, Texas in preparation for Flight 3 test ahead. Credit: SpaceX / X (Twitter).
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Aerial picture of Starship 28 (S28) prototype spaceship during the wet dress rehearsal performed on Sunday 3rd March 2024 at SpaceX's orbital launch site Starbase, Boca Chica, Texas.
Aerial picture of Starship 28 (S28) prototype spaceship during the wet dress rehearsal performed on Sunday 3rd March 2024 at SpaceX’s orbital launch site Starbase, Boca Chica, Texas. Credit: SpaceX / X (Twitter).

On Sunday evening at Starbase, SpaceX filled the fully integrated Starship 28 with 10 million pounds of propellant (liquid oxygen + methane). Elon Musk’s spaceflight company also conducted a countdown to T-10 seconds to simulate a real Starship flight.

Starship completed its rehearsal for launch, loading more than 10 million pounds of propellant on Starship and Super Heavy and taking the flight-like countdown to T-10 seconds

SpaceX via X (Twitter)

A Boca Chica road closure notice by the Cameron County, Texas judge Eddie Trevino, Jr. specifies more non-flight testing by SpaceX on Thursday 7th March with a backup window on Friday 8th March. These back-to-back tests suggest that SpaceX is very close to performing the Flight 3 orbital launch soon.

The final hurdle in both previous Starship flight tests was the pending approval by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Since SpaceX and the FAA are working on the approvals in the background, we should be expecting them to be issued soon. If this happens in the next couple of weeks, Starship Flight 3 will most probably take place in March.

The FAA asked SpaceX to make 17 improvements to the Starship systems after the Flight 2 test. In the 2nd flight, both Booster 9 and Ship 25 experienced rapid unscheduled disassembly (RUD). But still considered a success due to the lessons learned and data gained from the orbital flight test.

On 26th February, in an update on its official website, SpaceX announced that it has made the necessary upgrades required by the FAA to proceed with the Orbital Flight 3 (OFT3). However, the final approval and license from the FAA is still pending.

“Following the flight test, SpaceX led the investigation efforts with oversight from the FAA and participation from NASA, and the National Transportation Safety Board,” SpaceX announced.

Last month when Kanye West asked Elon Musk in an X post and his wrap song “Elon Where My Rocket Ship”, Musk said that the next Starship flight (integrated Flight Test 3 / IFT3) is in about 3 weeks (listen below). This timeline is complete and we are ever so closer to the IFT3 launch.

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirms that the recent Starship wet dress rehearsal (WDR) test was for Flight 3 preparations.
Elon Musk to Kanye West and Nicki Minaj telling them the timeline of Starship Flight 3 and the possibility of riding a Starship in the future.
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Video: SpaceX moves one step closer to the Starship Flight 3 test. Credit:
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


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