The first test flight of the longest rocket system in space history has been postponed at short notice. The "Starship" of the private space company SpaceX from tech billionaire Elon Musk should have taken off for a first short test flight on Monday in Brownsville in the US state of Texas. Shortly before the planned launch, however, a problem with a valve surfaced and SpaceX had the test launch postponed.
"A pressure valve seems to have frozen," Musk wrote on Twitter shortly before the test was canceled. Shortly afterwards he added: "Learned a lot today, now we're going to unload the fuel, try again in a few days...". On Monday evening, SpaceX then announced that another test attempt was planned for this Thursday. There is a one-hour window between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. CEST.
"Let's hope that the next launch attempt will bring us to a successful burn and liftoff," German astronaut Matthias Maurer wrote via Twitter. For him, the test attempt on Monday was a "tempting teaser for what is to come".
The "Starship" rocket system - consisting of the approximately 70-meter-long "Super Heavy" booster and the approximately 50-meter-long upper stage, also called "Starship" - is intended to enable manned missions to the moon and Mars in the future. The "Starship" system is designed in such a way that the spaceship and rocket can be reused after returning to earth.