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Watch incredible moment SpaceX's Starship rocket blasts off in 4th test launch

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Watch the incredible moment SpaceX’s Starship mega-rocket blasts off on its fourth test launch.

It marks a major step forward for Elon Musk’s plans to colonise Mars, and Nasa’s efforts to get boots on the moon in 2026.

The SpaceX team have repeatedly said Starship is "critical" to creating a "self-sustaining city" on Mars

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The SpaceX team have repeatedly said Starship is “critical” to creating a “self-sustaining city” on MarsCredit: Alamy
The 33-engine, $3billion mega-rocket is the largest vehicle to ever get off the ground

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The 33-engine, $3billion mega-rocket is the largest vehicle to ever get off the groundCredit: Rex
Starship was developed as part of a $1.15billion contract with Nasa

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Starship was developed as part of a $1.15billion contract with Nasa

SpaceX, founded by Musk, is targeting an 9:45am EDT (1:45pm BST) launch from its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

The fourth test flight will see SpaceX demonstrate the first ever re-light of a Raptor engine while in space.

Starship, developed as part of a $1.15billion contract with Nasa, refers to the reusable stainless steel top half of the rocket.

Whereas as the bottom half of the rocket is its booster, known as Super Heavy.

The 33-engine, $3billion mega-rocket is the largest vehicle to ever get off the ground.

It is both the tallest rocket and the most powerful, producing up to 7.6million kilograms of thrust.

That is nearly double the current record held by Nasa’s Space Launch System (SLS).

Smashed records

The third test launch in March saw Starship – and the Super Heavy rocket booster – fly faster and “further” than ever before.

It smashed records set by its second launch attempt in November, which exploded roughly 10 minutes after launch.

While the spacecraft fell apart on reentry, it completed several mission objectives that marked the flight a success.

One of the major objectives was achieving a fuel transfer while up in the air.

This maneuver will be essential to landing humans on the moon and ensuring astronauts have enough propellant to reach Mars.

Life on Mars and beyond

Starship is the embodiment of Musk’s personal mission to make humans an interplanetary species.

The SpaceX team have repeatedly said Starship is “critical” to creating a “self-sustaining city” on Mars.

While the conditions on the Red Planet are significantly less hospital than Earth’s, it is one of our closest habitable neighbours.

From the onset, Starship was designed with the capacity to store more than 100 tons of cargo and up to 100 passengers.

It has been intended to store everything humans will need to build permanent bases on both Mars, and the moon.

In Starship, it would take just six months to reach Mars.

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