What time is SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 launch test today?

Update for 10 am ET: SpaceX has successfully launched its Starship Flight 4 test flight of Starship and Super Heavy, the world's largest and most powerful rocket. See amazing video and photos of the launch and splashdown in our wrap story.

SpaceX will launch its next Starship megarocket test flight early in the morning on Thursday, June 6, and if you're hoping to watch it live, you'll need to know when and where to tune in. And for that, dear space fans, we've got what you need. 

SpaceX is targeting an 8:50 a.m. EDT (1250 GMT) launch for its Starship Flight 4 test flight of the Starship and Super Heavy megarocket from the company's Starbase facility in South Texas. While that time could change a bit ahead of launch, it's a great target to time your watch party. 

SpaceX will offer a free live webcast of the Starship Flight 4 launch beginning at about 8:20 a.m. EDT (1220 GMT). You can watch the livestream here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX. Here's a look at exactly when and how to watch Starship's next launch.

What time is SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 launch?

SpaceX's giant Starship rocket on the pad at Starbase, the company's site in South Texas, in June 2024 ahead of a June 6 test flight. (Image credit: Elon Musk via X)
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Currently, SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 is scheduled to launch at 8:50 a.m. EDT (1250 GMT),  or 7:50 a.m. CDT from the company's Starbase test site near Boca Chica Beach in South Texas. However, SpaceX has a 120-minute window in which to launch the Flight 4 mission, so Starship could lift off anytime between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)

"As is the case with all developmental testing, the schedule is dynamic and likely to change, so be sure to stay tuned to our X account for updates," SpaceX wrote in a mission description.

Starship and its Super Heavy booster are the world's most powerful rocket. When stacked together, they stand nearly 400 feet tall (122 meters) tall, with the first stage powered by 33 Raptor engines and the Starship upper stage by six Raptors. 

The Starship launch system is designed to be fully reusable and fly to deep-space destinations like the moon, Mars or beyond, SpaceX has said. NASA has picked Starship to land its Artemis 3 astronauts on the moon in late 2026. But before Starship can land on the moon, it has to reach space and prove it can reenter safely. That's what Flight 4 is about. 

"The fourth flight test turns our focus from achieving orbit to demonstrating the ability to return and reuse Starship and Super Heavy," SpaceX said in the mission description. SpaceX has launched three test flights, so far, with the first two failing to reach space. Starship Flight 3 reached space, but both the Starship and Super Heavy stages broke apart while coming back to Earth.

Related: See our SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy guide for a detailed look

Can I watch the SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 launch?

Yes, you will be able to watch SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 launch online, and you'll have your pick on where to watch. 

The first and most obvious place to watch the launch will be on SpaceX's X account (formerly Twitter), starting 30 minutes before liftoff — so, at about 8:20 a.m. EDT (1220 GMT)

Space.com will carry SpaceX's livestream live on our own VideoFromSpace YouTube channel, as well as on our homepage and at the top of this page.

If you're looking to check on SpaceX's Flight 4 status BEFORE SpaceX's livestream, consider tuning into to NASASpaceflight.com's YouTube channel, which offers live views of SpaceX's Starship, Starbase pads and other locations, and will likely offer live commentary during the fueling process.

If you happen to be in or near the Boca Chica, Texas area and are hoping to watch Starship launch in person, you have several locations you can choose from. 

SpaceX does not have an official viewing site, but you can visit several public beaches to see the launch. The nearby South Padre Island offers clear views of the rocket from the shoreline near the Cameron County Amphitheater and Isla Blanca Park. You can also find similar beachfront viewing spots along the nearby shore of Port Isabel. 

I actually watched Starship Flight 1's launch in April 2023 from South Padre Island's Cameron County Amphitheater, and I can assure you that it offers unobstructed views (aside from some boats in the harbor) to spectators on the beach.  (There is also a public restroom, always a plus.)  You'll want to bring a folding chair, water, sunscreen and other supplies. Traffic can be heavy to and from the site, so consider that in your travel planning.

How long is SpaceX's Starship Flight 4?

This SpaceX diagram shows the flight profile for the company's Starship Flight 4 launch test on June 6, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX's Starship Flight 4 is expected to last just over one hour, if all goes according to plan. 

Flight 4 will fly a similar trajectory to SpaceX's Starship Flight 3 launch on March 14, which aimed for a 65-minute mission from launch to Starship splashdown in the Indian Ocean. 

"This flight path does not require a deorbit burn for reentry, maximizing public safety while still providing the opportunity to meet our primary objective of a controlled Starship reentry," SpaceX wrote in its mission description.

The Super Heavy booster, meanwhile, is expected to fly for nearly 7 minutes, with a landing burn scheduled for 6 minutes, 43 seconds after liftoff. SpaceX hopes it will make a controlled "landing" and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, miles offshore of Boca Chica Beach.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SpaceX Starship Countdown Timeline
TIME (Hr:Min:Sec)EVENTHeader Cell - Column 2
T-1:15:00Flight director poll for fuel loadingRow 0 - Cell 2
T-0:49:00Starship liquid methane loading beginsRow 1 - Cell 2
T-0:47:00Starship liquid oxygen loading beginsRow 2 - Cell 2
T-0:40:00Super Heavy liquid methane loading beginsRow 3 - Cell 2
T-0:37:00Super Heavy liquid oxygen loading beginsRow 4 - Cell 2
T-00:19:40Super Heavy Raptor engine chilldownRow 5 - Cell 2
T-00:3:20Starship fueling completeRow 6 - Cell 2
T-00:2:50Super Heavy fueling completeRow 7 - Cell 2
T-00:0:30Flight Director GO for launchRow 8 - Cell 2
T-00:00:10Flame deflector activationRow 9 - Cell 2
T-00:00:03Raptor ignition sequence startupRow 10 - Cell 2
T-00:00:00Liftoff ("Excitement Guaranteed," as SpaceX puts it.)Row 11 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
SpaceX Starship Test Flight 4 Timeline
TIME (Hr:Min:Sec)FLIGHT EVENTHeader Cell - Column 2
T+00:02Liftoff Row 0 - Cell 2
T+01:02Starship/Super Heavy reach Max QRow 1 - Cell 2
T+2:41Super Heavy main engine cutoffRow 2 - Cell 2
T+2:45Hot-staging separation/Starship Raptor engine ignitionRow 3 - Cell 2
T+2:49Super Heavy boostback burn startupRow 4 - Cell 2
T+3:52Super Heavy boostback burn engine shutdownRow 5 - Cell 2
T+3:54Hot-stage jettisonRow 6 - Cell 2
T+6:39Super Heavy is transonicRow 7 - Cell 2
T+6:43Super Heavy landing burn startupRow 8 - Cell 2

What if Starship can't launch on Thursday?

SpaceX's giant Starship rocket on the pad at Starbase, the company's site in South Texas, in June 2024 ahead of a planned test flight. (Image credit: Elon Musk via X)

If SpaceX is unable to launch Starship Flight 4 on June 6, it's likely that the company has at least one (if not more) backup days to fall back on.

Officials with Cameron County, the region of South Texas that includes SpaceX's Starbase facility, have listed June 7 and June 8 as backup days, according to a beach closure advisory to the public. Those closures run from 12 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, or about 1 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, on both days.

Of course, any backup launch attempt would depend on how far SpaceX goes into the Starship and Super Heavy fueling process. In the past, SpaceX has said it takes several days to restock the more than 10 million pounds of super-cold liquid methane and liquid oxygen propellant needed for launch. 

If a technical issue delays the launch of Starship Flight 4, then SpaceX would likely have to wait until it is solved to try again.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.