The second test of the largest rocket system ever built in space history has been postponed from Friday to Saturday. A drive unit on a control surface still needs to be replaced, wrote Elon Musk on Thursday on the short message service X, formerly Twitter, which he owns.
"That's why the start has been postponed to Saturday." SpaceX announced shortly afterwards that a 20-minute launch window for the “Starship” would open at 2 p.m. CET on Saturday.
Musk's space company also sent a noise warning to residents of the surrounding Cameron County in the US state of 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 second start attempt had previously been announced for Friday from 2 p.m. CET.
“Exciting test start”
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 numerous 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.