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Thu Jun 10, 2021, 02:38 AM

Splashy plans: SpaceX foresees water launches/landings

BROWNSVILLE — SpaceX’s first orbital flight of a Starship prototype will launch from the company’s production/test site at Boca Chica and wind up in the water — on purpose.

According to a document SpaceX filed with the Federal Communications Commission last month, the massive Super Heavy booster stage used to push the Starship spacecraft into orbit will separate approximately two minutes and 10 seconds into the flight and land in the Gulf of Mexico about 20 miles offshore from Boca Chica.

The orbital Starship will continue flying between the Florida straits and, once in orbit, will execute a powered, targeted, soft ocean landing roughly 62 miles off the northwest coast of Kauai, Hawaii, according to the FCC filing. From launch to splashdown off the Hawaiian coast will take about 90 minutes, said SpaceX, which provided no launch date.

The objective of the flight will be to collect as much data as possible during the flight about “entry dynamics” and what the test vehicle undergoes “in a flight regime that is extremely difficult to predict or replicate computationally,” according to the filing. The collected data will guide any changes in how subsequent Starship prototypes are designed and/or operate, and allow SpaceX to create more accurate models for computer simulation, according to the document.

Read more: https://myrgv.com/local-news/2021/06/09/making-a-splash-spacex-plans-for-water-launches-landings/

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