Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) date falls on SpaceX’s 22nd foundation anniversary, FAA approves the launch

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According to Elon Musk, SpaceX will attempt to fly the Starship for the 3rd time from Starbase, Texas in a few hours (around 7:00 AM CT if weather permits).

Starship 28 (S28) and Booster 10 (B10) prototypes are currently stacked at the launch site for the Flight 3 orbital launch aka IFT-3 (Integrated Flight Test 3).

Either coincidentally or intentionally, the Starship IFT-3 launch has fallen on SpaceX’s 22nd foundation anniversary. Elon Musk’s space exploration company was founded on 14th March 2002. I remember those days, as I was learning web design at the time and the SpaceX website was inspirational.

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Fully integrated Starship (Ship 28 + B10) seen behind the SpaceX logo at Starbase, Texas a day before Flight 3 orbital launch attempt (IFT-3).
Fully integrated Starship (Ship 28 + B10) seen behind the SpaceX logo at Starbase, Texas a day before Flight 3 orbital launch attempt (IFT-3). Credit: SpaceX via X (Twitter).

Update: Watch the Live Stream of the Starship Flight 3 and live updates from Starbase

In an earlier tweet, Musk said that the launch might extend to the end of the week because of unfavorable weather conditions. However, a few hours ago he re-posted on X (Twitter) that the launch will be attempted today (14th March 2024).

Simultaneously, I received an email from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) media relations department that the authority has renewed the SpaceX license to carry on with the Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) attempt. The FAA email stated:

SpaceX applied to modify its existing vehicle operator license for the Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle from its Cameron County, TX site. After completing an evaluation of all applicable Vehicle Operator License requirements, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a modification to the Vehicle Operator License for SpaceX launches of the Starship/Super Heavy Launch Vehicle Program in Cameron County, TX on March 13, 2024. The modification authorizes the third flight of Starship/Super Heavy.

Screenshot of the FAA SpaceX Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) license document.
Screenshot of the FAA SpaceX Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) license document. Source: FAA website (PDF).
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Since SpaceX has received the final regulatory approval for Starship Flight 3, bad weather remains the only hurdle in the way of the IFT-3 launch attempt.

If the weather conditions are not satisfactory for a launch on 14th March (Thursday), the FAA has given SpaceX backup launch windows for the next 4 days. SpaceX can also attempt a launch on the 15th (Friday), 16th (Saturday), 17th (Sunday), or 18th March (Monday).

The list of Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) launch windows by the FAA.
Screenshot: The list of Starship Flight 3 (IFT-3) launch windows by the FAA. Source: FAA Operation Plan Advisory web page.

SpaceX will livestream the Starship IFT-3 orbital launch from the Orbital Launch Mount (OLM) at Starbase, Boca Chica Texas on its website (possibly a YouTube version) and on Elon Musk’s social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

We will also be adding a live stream page if SpaceX decides to stream it live on YouTube. So, stay tuned for more updates as the historic day unfolds.

Elon Musk has been positive that with thousands of upgrades over Flight 2 Starship, the newer and improved version is likely going to reach orbit.

Starship 28 (2nd/upper stage/S28) mounted on Super Heavy Booster 10 (1st stage/B10) on the OLM at SpaceX Starbase  — ready for Flight 3 (IFT-3) orbital launch test.
Starship 28 (2nd/upper stage/S28) mounted on Super Heavy Booster 10 (1st stage/B10) on the OLM at SpaceX Starbase — ready for Flight 3 (IFT-3) orbital launch test. Credit: SpaceX via X (Twitter).
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Stay tuned for future updates on Starship and SpaceX, Follow us on:
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Related

Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Alihttp://www.teslaoracle.com
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, 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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