SpaceX teams are working towards launching Starship to orbit on 4/20 – Thursday, April 20 during a 62-minute launch window that begins at 8:28 a.m. and closes at 9:30 a.m. Central Time. The company attempted to launch the stainless-steel rocketship to space on April 17, but the launch was scrubbed when engineers encountered an issue at just 9 minutes to go in the countdown. –“A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today,” shared SpaceX founder Elon Musk via Twitter before liftoff on Monday's attempt.
The valve issue was related to the pressurization system on the Super Heavy rocket, also referred to as ‘first-stage.’ Musk said that the engineering teams “learned a lot” from the fueling to countdown operation prior to the ignition sequence. These kinds of issues are expected from a brand new launch system that is actively under development. Engineers learn from every issue they encounter to improve the spacecraft’s design and concept of operations.
Last night, Musk shared that the Starbase team is “working around the clock on many issues. Maybe 4/20, maybe not,” he wrote in a Tweet. So, the launch schedule is dynamic, likely to change depending on whether teams fix the issues on time and it also depends on weather conditions along the South Texas coast. This afternoon, SpaceX confirmed it still targets April 20 for the second launch attempt. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave SpaceX authorization to launch Starship from Boca Chica Beach, Texas, and land it in the ocean off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii. There are backup launch opportunities scheduled from April 21 through 24 on the FAA Operations Plan Advisory webpage. While we await liftoff, watch SpaceX teams prepare for the orbital flight through LabPadre’s 24/7 Starbase livestream via YouTube, linked in the video below. SpaceX's Live broadcast of the launch begins around 45 minutes before liftoff if it happens on 4/20.
The team is working around the clock on many issues. Maybe 4/20, maybe not.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
VIDEO: SpaceX Starship Orbital Flight Test - Attempt #2 Livestream
VIDEO: LabPadre 24/7 Starbase Livestream
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About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.