It’s not clear why SpaceX stopped the launch, although last-minute rubbing isn’t uncommon even during routine missile launches. Computers or air traffic controllers may have abnormally read the health of the rocket and prevented the engines from igniting. SpaceX has not disclosed the reason for the delay, although the company is still able to complete the test launch on Wednesday or Thursday.
SpaceX did not disclose on what day or time the company intends to conduct the test flight now.
Previous test flights of Starship prototypes did less than 500 meters in the air and used only one engine. The vehicle, which will be used in SpaceX’s next Starship test flight, called the SN8, will be the first to install three engines. And this will be by far the highest and most risky Starship test flight.
Musk tried to dampen expectations, saying in a tweet that he had predicted that the SN8 would have every third chance to land safely back on Earth.
However, the 40,000-meter test launch is expected to still leave plenty of room for Starship to perform a “landing flip maneuver,” allowing engineers to test the vehicle’s ability to redirect to landing, as it would in its final stage. orbital flight.
It is not clear why the company decided to reduce the altitude of the test flight, although 40,000 and 60,000 feet are still well below the 62-mile mark, which is widely held to mark the edge of outer space.
The SN8 missile would not be able to reach Earth’s orbit anyway. The final design of the Starship will require six rocket engines, and even then the vehicle will need a separate, powerful rocket booster called Super Heavy to orbit the spacecraft as it will have to travel at 17,000 miles per hour to travel. . It is not yet clear whether the company has begun developing or testing the Super Heavy Reminder.
To travel to Mars, the Starship will eventually have to reach an “escape speed” – about 25,000 miles per hour – which is the speed required for a spacecraft to break away from the Earth’s gravitational pull, allowing it to You can travel to remote regions of our day. system.
Musk founded SpaceX around his interplanetary travel ambitions, claiming to want to develop the technology that will allow humans to settle the Red Planet.