SpaceX scrubbed the latest Starship test, scheduled for launch from the Starbase factory in Texas on Friday.
The Starship SN15 high-altitude flight tests followed four previous attempts, all of which ended in a major blowout.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk said previous problems with the rocket’s Raptor engine had been resolved “six ways on Sunday”, although it failed to land cleanly. But there are still a number of other Starship prototypes under development.
The airspace clearance was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), road closures shared with Cameron County, and a Maritime Hazard Declaration was issued.
Before 1p.m. local time (7 p.m. BST), Cameron County updated the website to indicate that local roads in Boca Chica have been reopened.
SpaceX has not yet provided an official reason for canceling the Starship launch yet another attempt is expected on Monday.
The road opens again around SpaceX’s Starbase factory when the launch of Starship SN15 crashes.
Cameron County recently updated its website, canceling any road closures that happened today.
There’s no reasoning and no official word from SpaceX, but that’s a sign that today’s Starship SN15 launch is closed.
Cameron County doesn’t allow a weekend release, so the next opportunity is likely on Monday.
We’ll provide you with updates if the situation changes. But otherwise we’ll be back on Monday. Thank you for working with us, look forward to meeting you!
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021 6:58
The launch of the Starship SN15 polished
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021 18:48
How should the launch of Starship SN15 go?
The Starship’s four high altitude flight tests ended in an explosion, with only one – the Starship SN10 – really managed to land. (Before exploding on the landing pad eight minutes later)
The test took about six minutes from lift to landing, and, according to SpaceX, Starship was supposed to “be powered through ascent by three Raptor engines, each shut down in sequence before the craft reaches its peak – roughly. 10 km in altitude “
The SN15 starship should then perform a “rocket shift to the internal header tank containing the rocket to land before self-orientating for reversing and controlled aerodynamic lowering.”
This looks like a practical flop and should be followed by a complex landing maneuver powered by one or two Raptor engines that will continuously land the craft.
Hopefully it won’t be like this:
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021 18:21
SpaceX still does not have to evacuate the village.
One of the primary factors for the launch was the evacuation from Boca Chica Village, which has yet to take place.
These can be issued at a time of notice and are necessary to protect residents from falling debris or even broken windows caused by an explosion.
The last factor that may hinder today’s efforts is weather. Now it looks very dark and there’s a storm not far away.
Poor visibility is not enough to stifle the launch, as evidenced by the mist-shrouded Starship SN11 test, however, lightning or strong winds and rain could make up for launch plans.
It is now expected to dry out in Boca Chica, Texas over the next six hours. But it could be changed. This is the current weather radar:
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021, 5:36 PM
Starship SN15 Status
There are a number of variables that need to be attended to the Starship flight test in order to proceed.
These include airspace clearance and FAA flight approvals, joint road closures with Cameron County, evacuation from nearby Boca Chica village, maritime alert announcements and All technical arrangements for real rockets.
As a result, SpaceX didn’t promote a launch time until just a few minutes. But we do know that it could be between 5:00 PM local time (11 PM BST) following on-site road closures.
The FAA also authorized the release, announced yesterday. The good news is that it appears to cover launches for Starship SN16 and Starship SN17.Here’s what the agency has to say:
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021 16:38
We go again …
Hello and welcome to independent Live coverage of SpaceX’s latest attempt at launching Starship rockets.
It’s been a month since the last big test. But hopefully it’s worth the wait.
Anthony CuthbertsonApril 30, 2021 4:04