Around six months after the explosion of the largest rocket system ever built in space history during a test flight, the next attempt is to be started today. The second test launch with a “Starship” was originally scheduled for Friday, but was then postponed. Elon Musk, head of the private space company SpaceX, said that a drive unit on a control surface had to be replaced beforehand.
A 20-minute launch window is scheduled to open at 2 p.m. CET at SpaceX's spaceport in the US state of Texas. If everything goes as planned, it would be a test lasting about an hour and a half: after launch, the two rocket stages would separate and the lower one would land in the Gulf of Mexico. The upper one would continue to rise and then eventually land in the Pacific.
SpaceX sent a noise warning to residents of the surrounding Cameron County in Texas. A "loud noise" may be heard from the 33 engines. What you see on site also depends on the weather and other conditions.
The first test went differently than hoped
The "Starship" set off for an unmanned test launch for the first time in mid-April - and four minutes later exploded and shattered. Billionaire Musk, whose company SpaceX developed and built the “Starship” rocket system, did not see this as a setback, but as an “exciting test launch.” Musk had always emphasized that the next test launch with another “Starship” should follow as soon as possible.
The US aviation authority FAA had investigated the incident and called for numerous improvement measures as a condition for such a next test start. SpaceX announced that it had implemented many improvements and changes. The FAA now gave the green light.
The "Starship" - 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. The system is designed so that the spacecraft and rocket can be reused after returning to Earth. The system, which is around 120 meters long in total, will be able to transport well over 100 tons of cargo in the future. NASA wants to take astronauts to the moon with the “Starship”. SpaceX hopes to one day get to Mars.