SpaceX Submit Second Bid to Launch a Test Starship
On Thursday, SpaceX plans to try a second time to complete the first test flight of Starship, the most potent rocket yet built that is intended to deliver astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
A pressurization fault in the first-stage booster caused the massive rocket’s slated launch on Monday to be cancelled less than 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
The new launch opportunity at Starbase, the SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, starts on Thursday at 8:28 a.m. Central Time (1328 gmt), and it spans for about an hour, according to SpaceX.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has attempted to temper expectations for the perilous first test flight and raised some questions about whether the launch will take place on Thursday.
Musk tweeted late Tuesday, “The team is working around the clock on many issues.” “Maybe 4/20, might not.”
For the very first time since the Apollo program came to an end in 1972, NASA has chosen the Starship spacecraft to transport men to the Moon in late 2025. The expedition is known as Artemis III.
Starship is made up of a 230-foot-tall first-stage Super Heavy booster rocket and a 164-foot (50-meter) tall spacecraft with room for crew and cargo.
The 33 enormous Raptor engines on the initially-stage booster were successfully tested by SpaceX in February, but the Starship spaceship and the Super Heavy rocket never flew together.
Their combined performance will be evaluated during the integrated test flight.
Due to a frozen pressure valve on the Super Heavy booster that prevented Monday’s launch, SpaceX had to postpone a subsequent attempt for 48 hours in order to recycle the liquid oxygen and methane that power the rocket.
Prior to the launch, Musk had issued a warning that there might be delays and technical difficulties.
It’s an extremely dangerous flight, he declared. It’s the maiden launch of a huge, intricate rocket.
There are countless possible outcomes for this rocket, according to Musk. We’re going to use extreme caution, and we’ll postpone if we notice anything that worries us.
In November 2024, NASA will send astronauts to the lunar surface moon on its own, deploying the Space Launch System (SLS), a hefty rocket that has been developing for more than ten years.
Starship can launch a payload weighing more than 100 metric tonnes into orbit and is both bigger and more powerful than SLS.
More than twice as much thrust as the Saturn V rockets used to launch the Apollo astronauts to the Moon, it produces 17 million pounds of thrust.
Approximately three minutes after launch, the Super Heavy rocket will detach from Starship and float down into the Gulf of Mexico as part of the integrated test flight.
A near-circle of the Earth will be completed by Starship, which has six internal engines, before it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean not far from Hawaii, some 90 minutes after launch.
If it enters orbit, Musk declared, “that’s a massive success.”
“If we get far enough away from the launchpad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success,” he remarked. Don’t blow up the launchpad, please.
In the future, SpaceX plans to launch a Starship into orbit, refuel it with another Starship, and then send it on its way to Mars or beyond.
Making Starship reusable and lowering the cost to a few million dollars per flight are the objectives, according to Musk.
In the long run, he stated, which he defined as two to three years, “we should achieve full and rapid reusability.”
Establishing bases on the Moon and Mars will eventually put humans on the “path to being a multi-planet civilization,” according to Musk.
We are in a brief period of civilization where being a multi-planet species is possible, he remarked. “That is our aim. I believe we have a chance.