SpaceX will make a second attempt on Thursday to carry out the first test flight of Starship, which is designed to send astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The first liftoff was planned earlier this week but was aborted less than 10 minutes before the scheduled launch due to a pressurization issue in the first-stage booster.
Details of the Second Attempt
The new window for liftoff from Starbase, the SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas, opens on Thursday and lasts for about an hour. SpaceX founder Elon Musk cast some doubt on whether the launch will actually go ahead on Thursday since the team is working around the clock to address various issues.
Information About Starship
Starship is a spacecraft that sits atop a first-stage Super Heavy booster rocket. It is designed to carry crew and cargo and is 164-feet (50-meters) tall. The integrated test flight is intended to assess the performance of both the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket. The spacecraft consists of six engines of its own and will continue to an altitude of nearly 150 miles before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii about 90 minutes after launch.
SpaceX’s Goal and Future Plans
SpaceX foresees eventually putting a Starship into orbit and then refueling it with another Starship so it can continue on a journey to Mars or beyond. The eventual objective is to establish bases on the Moon and Mars and put humans on the “path to being a multi-planet civilization,” Musk said. The goal is to make Starship reusable and bring down the price to a few million dollars per flight.
If the second test flight is successful, it would be a massive achievement for SpaceX. Musk had warned ahead of the launch that delays and technical issues were likely since it was the first launch of a very complicated, gigantic rocket. Nevertheless, SpaceX’s goal is to establish bases on the Moon and Mars and ultimately make humanity a multi-planet species.