The much-awaited test flight of Elon Musk’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, has been postponed at least for 48 hours.
The 394-ft-tall, two-stage rocket ship, scheduled to take off from the SpaceX facility at Boca Chica, Texas, was called off just minutes ahead of the take-off. The two-hour launch window was reportedly from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm India time.
It has been designed to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars and beyond.
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Earlier: Musk sets expectations low
“I guess I’d like to just set expectations low,” the SpaceX CEO said during a Twitter “Spaces” event for his subscribers the day before. “If we get far enough away from the launch pad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success. Just don’t blow up the pad,” he added.
For those who want to watch the event from other parts of the world, SpaceX will live stream it on its YouTube channel. If SpaceX cannot launch the rocket on Monday, it has said it will continue to try throughout the week.
“Success is not what should be expected,” Musk warned his private Twitter audience, according to Reuters. He has said the best-case scenario would be to get crucial data about how the rocket takes off to space and how it flies back to Earth.
If successful, however, Starship will shoot about 150 miles above the Earth’s surface, into altitudes deemed to be outer space.
SpaceX’s Starship comprises two parts — the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket. They represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to the Earth’s orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
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Most powerful rocket
Starship is the world’s most powerful launch vehicle developed so far. It is a fully reusable spacecraft and the second stage of the Starship system. The stainless steel vehicle has 33 main engines and 16.7 million pounds of thrust.
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The Starship spacecraft has earlier crashed four times after taking off several miles into the stratosphere, before finally landing upright in 2021.
Musk aims to eventually use Starship to launch satellites into low-Earth orbit, including his own Starlinks for internet service.
(With agency inputs)