After many months of delays, SpaceX lastly obtained prepared for its first-ever high-altitude take a look at flight of its gigantic Starship rocket.
At round 4:35 pm native time, the 165-foot behemoth fired up its three huge Raptor engines on the house firm’s take a look at services in Boca Chica, Texas — but it surely wasn’t meant to be. The engines flared up in puffs of white smoke, however stopped wanting igniting.
Appears to be like good on the pad, not less than. pic.twitter.com/9AXSVHIDFE
— Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) December 8, 2020
The truth is, only one.3 seconds remained on the countdown timer.
SpaceX plans for the rocket to soar to about 40,000 toes, lean on to its stomach midflight and use its facet to gradual its descent, a maneuver dubbed the “stomach flop.”
“Excellent news is that SpaceX additionally has a highway closure scheduled for Wednesday,” senior house editor at Ars Technica Eric Berger wrote in a tweet. “Climate appears to be like equally good tomorrow if the problem that spurred the engine abort may be addressed.”
It may change into the primary time a totally kitted out Starship has taken to the skies, together with nostril cone and aerodynamic flaps.
SpaceX has already accomplished two successful “hops” of earlier Starship prototypes, sending them to simply shy of 500 toes earlier this yr.
The Elon Musk-led firm has extremely bold plans for the rocket. With the help of an enormous Tremendous Heavy booster, the rocket is designed from the bottom as much as establish permanent habitats on different planets together with the Moon and Mars.
It’s additionally designed to hoist up 100 tons of cargo or 100 passengers to the Moon or one other planet.
SpaceX may also have to determine refuel the rocket in Earth’s orbit so as to make these lengthy journeys. The corporate has already signed a contract with NASA to just do that.
The corporate can also be underneath contract with the house company to determine a lunar lander variant of the Starship to permit American astronauts to return to the Moon’s floor as quickly as 2024.
Extra on Starship: Here’s How to Watch SpaceX’s Epic Starship Launch Today