SpaceX postpones Starship’s launch over fuelling issues

Tata
18/04/2023

Tata
18/04/2023

​While the world was getting set to see how the largest and most powerful spaceship ever would be launched on Monday, SpaceX announced the postponement of the record-breaking event until Thursday. The company said a technical fault was responsible for the postponement of the launch.

“A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today,” Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, wrote on Twitter. He later tweeted that the company would retry in a few days.

In a statement later released by SpaceX, the company said starship launch is now scheduled for Thursday, and as usual, it would be live-streamed for all to see.

“SpaceX is targeting as soon as Thursday, April 20 for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas. The 62-minute launch window opens at 8:28 a.m. CT and closes at 9:30 a.m. CT,” SpaceX said in its statement.

“Success is not what should be expected”

Expectations are high as Elon Musk and his team are about to launch the gigantic spaceship. Even before sunrise, several hundred were already seated at a safe distance from the launch site in Texas. However, the Tech billionaire, who doubles as Twitter’s CEO, has subtly cautioned against expecting a perfect launch of the Starship.

“Success is not what should be expected,” Musk stated. “That would be insane.”

“If we do launch, I would consider anything that does not result in the destruction of the launch pad itself to be a win,” Musk added.

He is worried that should the Super Heavy booster explode on the launch pad, it could melt the steel infrastructure around it, causing the company to spend months rebuilding the launch site.

“If we get far enough away from launch pad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success,” Musk said on Sunday. “Just don’t blow up the pad.”

What starship is all about

Starship is the most powerful and tallest spaceship ever built. It is also the first reusable space vehicle that can carry man and cargo to Earth orbit. SpaceX said the powerful transportation system could take humanity to and from the moon and even “to Mars and beyond.”

The launch vehicle has a total of 33 Raptor engines that could generate 17 million pounds of lift-off thrust. With that, the starship is expected to almost complete the earth’s orbit. Elon Musk spent a total of about $ 3 billion on the new rocket.

No doubt, launching such a powerful 395-ft tall rocket is not something that should be done hurriedly. Elon Musk said any challenge could put a pause on the launch until it is safe to do so.

“With a test such as this, success is measured by how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances the development of Starship,” the company’s statement reads.

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