SpaceX Postpones Debut Flight of Starship Rocket Due to Pressurization Issue

Bullion Bite

Elon Musk's SpaceX has postponed the launch of its Starship rocket, delaying its first uncrewed test flight into space. Originally scheduled for blast-off from the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, the two-stage rocketship was called off during the final minutes of the countdown. The company announced that it was scrubbing the flight attempt for at least 48 hours, citing a pressurization issue in the lower-stage rocket booster. Musk, the company's billionaire founder and chief executive, had previously told a private Twitter audience that the mission stood a better chance of being scrubbed than proceeding to launch on Monday.

Getting the Starship rocket to space for the first time would be a significant milestone for SpaceX. It represents the company's ambition to send humans back to the moon and ultimately to Mars. A successful debut flight would also instantly rank the Starship system as the most powerful launch vehicle on Earth. The lower-stage Super Heavy booster rocket and the upper-stage Starship cruise vessel are designed as reusable components, capable of flying back to Earth for soft landings.

However, neither stage will be recovered for the expendable first test flight to space, expected to last no more than 90 minutes. Prototypes of the Starship cruise vessel have made five sub-space flights up to six miles above Earth in recent years, but the Super Heavy booster has never left the ground. In February, SpaceX did a test-firing of the booster, igniting 31 of its 33 Raptor engines for roughly 10 seconds with the rocket bolted in place vertically atop a platform.

The Federal Aviation Administration granted a license for what would be the first test flight of the fully stacked rocket system, clearing a final regulatory hurdle for the long-awaited launch just last Friday. If all goes as planned for the next launch bid, all 33 Raptor engines will ignite simultaneously to loft the Starship on a flight that nearly completes a full orbit of the Earth before it re-enters the atmosphere and free-falls into the Pacific at supersonic speed about 60 miles off the coast of the northern Hawaiian islands.

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Bullion Bite uses cookies to enhance your experience. How We Use Cookies?
Ok, Go it!