Updated for 1:45 p.m. ET.SpaceX did not attempt to fly the Starship SN15 test today, and the road closures near Starbase Station have been canceled. NASASpaceflight.
SpaceX may soon be launching its latest Starship prototype from the company’s Starbase test site in South Texas, but when it’s not clear when.
The Starship SN15 (“Serial No. 15”), SpaceX’s newest vehicle, can fly aboard an altitude test soon from its factory near Boca Chica Village in South Texas. Cameron County officials, including the test site, warned of road closures today (April 30) for a potential test flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a flight restriction notice for local pilots from Friday to Sunday (April 30 – May 2) in the event that SpaceX chooses to try flights over the weekend.
If SpaceX Don’t try the test flight, you can watch it live on the SpaceX webcast, usually SpaceX will start the webcast 5 or 10 minutes before launch. You can also follow Starship viewing sites such as the YouTube feed from NASASpaceflight, the feed from SPadre.com, LabPadre, and streams from Everyday Astronaut.
Related: Starship and SpaceX’s Super Heavy rocket pictured.
On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it has authorized SpaceX with plans to launch SN15 as well as two more vehicles – SN16 and SN17 in the coming weeks.
“The FAA allows the next three launches of the SpaceX Starship prototype,” an FAA official wrote in a statement. “The agency approved multiple launches because SpaceX made few changes to the launch vehicle and relied on FAA-approved methods of calculating the public’s exposure.”
The SN15 is SpaceX’s fifth-generation spacecraft that has flown in less than five months.SpaceX tested its rocket engines earlier this week as a platform for its upcoming launch.
The first Starship to fly SN8 debuted on December 9 and flies well. But crashes occurred during the landing. Three other Starship flights (of SN9, SN10 and SN11) had a similar fate, launching SN10 could land. But exploded a few minutes after the touchdown. No flight was aimed at space, instead it was targeting an altitude of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).
SpaceX is developing the Starship spacecraft as part of a reusable heavy-duty lift release system that will include a massive booster called Super Heavy, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. It said Starship would be the core of the company’s deep space rocket fleet for its expeditions to the Moon and Mars.
NASA has tapped the Starship spacecraft to land astronaut Artemis on the moon.SpaceX is also selling private flights around the moon using Starship to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who is searching for a crew of eight to fly with him.
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