Giant rocket Starship from SpaceX: Second attempt for orbital flight in the live stream

The largest rocket ever built in the world is now scheduled to launch into space for the first time this Thursday and almost fly around the world. After the first launch attempt was aborted on Monday due to a jammed pressure valve, the US space company is planning a launch from 3:28 p.m. CEST. The launch window that then opens will be 62 minutes long, so a launch could be attempted until 16:30 CEST. As on Monday, SpaceX will start a live stream on YouTube about 45 minutes beforehand, heise online will report live on the immediate launch preparations and the test.

The SpaceX Starship comes assembled to about 120 m height. NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) moon rocket, on the other hand, is only around 100 m high, and the Apollo program’s Saturn V was 110 m. Elon Musk presented the first prototype of the Starship in September 2019.

After two hops of the SN5 and SN6 prototypes at an altitude of around 150 meters, the first real test flight took place in December 2020. SN8 flew less than seven minutes at the time. But then it shattered on landing. In February 2021, prototype SN9 crashed on landing. SN10 was tilted after landing in early March 2021, but then exploded spectacularly. At the end of March 2021, the next explosion followed at SN11, which was followed by improvements to the design. In May 2021, SN15 actually managed a “nominal landing”. Prototype S24 is now to fly into space.

Elon Musk announced the first orbital flight of a Starship for the second half of 2021. When that passed, dates for January and July 2022 followed, and most recently March was mentioned. Despite these delays, the speed of development of the giant rocket is enormous; now it remains to be seen whether it can really already reach orbit. The US aviation authority FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) issued the take-off permit before the weekend (License No. VOL 23-129). SpaceX therefore meets all the necessary requirements for “safety, environment, regulation, payload, airspace integration and financial responsibility”. The license is valid for five years.

(Bild: SpaceX)


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