SpaceX is now aiming to launch its latest Starship rocket prototype on Tuesday, March 30 after an FAA-related delay, and you’ll be able to watch it live when it flies.
The Starship SN11 rocket was originally scheduled to attempt a launch from SpaceX’s Starbase test site near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas on Monday between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT (5 p.m.-2200 GMT), according to Texas officials. But a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, which oversees launches in commercial space, was unable to reach the launch site on time, said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
If SpaceX is able to launch its Starship SN11 on Tuesday, the rocket is expected to reach an altitude of 10 kilometers and then attempt a landing. You’ll be able to watch here and on the Space.com homepage, as well as watch directly from SpaceX here and on YouTube. SpaceX’s webcast typically begins about 5 minutes before an attempt to launch Starship.
Video: Watch SpaceX test the Starship SN11 prototype rocket
The potential Starship SN11 launch on Tuesday follows an earlier attempt on Friday (March 26), when SpaceX tested the rocket’s three Raptor engines, but chose not to attempt a launch in order to allow time for additional checks on the rocket. the vehicle.
“Do our best to land and fully recover,” Musk said at the time.
Starship SN11 is the latest test vehicle for a fully reusable launch system planned that SpaceX is developing for deep space flights to the Moon and Mars. The company has launched three vehicles to date: SN8, SN9 and SN10. Testing of the SN8 and SN9 ships ended with unsuccessful landing attempts, with vehicles crashing and exploding.
The Starship SN10 prototype flew on March 3 and blocked its landing, but exploded shortly after touchdown. SpaceX is hoping for great success with the Starship SN11 test flight.
“The Starship prototype will descend under active aerodynamic control, accomplished by the independent movement of two front flaps and two rear flaps on the vehicle,” SpaceX wrote in a mission overview. “All four flaps are operated by an onboard flight computer to control the Starship’s attitude during flight and allow precise landing at the intended location. ”
SpaceX plans to launch the 165-foot-tall (50-meter) Starship spacecraft into orbit using a massive heavy-lift booster called Super Heavy, which is also in development. Musk introduced the first Super Heavy test article earlier this month to use for structural checks.
SpaceX has already booked a Starship flight around the moon for Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and eight others. Maezawa’s “dearMoon” mission is slated to launch in 2023. SpaceX is also relying on Starship as one of three teams vying to build a crewed landing vehicle to deliver NASA astronauts to the moon in the part of the agency’s Artemis program.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 1:51 p.m. EDT to include SpaceX’s launch delay for Starship SN11 and plans for an attempted launch on Tuesday.
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us on @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.