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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX May Test Propellant Transfer During the Next Starship Launch

•, by Brian Wang

Lakiesha Hawkins, deputy associate administrator for NASA's Moon to Mars program office, one of her slides (at a Congressional Committee presentation) said SpaceX is moving quickly toward the third Super Heavy/Starship launch and that this flight will include a propellant transfer demonstration.

SpaceX Has a $52 million cryogenic fluid management NASA Tipping point award.

This test would involve transferring super-cold propellant from one tank to another inside a Starship spacecraft. It's a precursor to future, more complex demonstrations involving two giant Starships docked together in Earth orbit. Then SpaceX will be ready to send a Starship toward the Moon for a test landing without astronauts onboard.

The demonstration will include technology risk assessment, design and prototype testing, and in-orbit demonstration. It will also provide insights for larger vehicle-to-vehicle transfers, which is a key capability for SpaceX's lunar lander.

This is a critical capability to enable the landing on the moon with SpaceX Lunar Starship.