Maiden test flight of SpaceX Starship postponed for 20th April, 2023
SpaceX has chosen Thursday (April 20, 2023) for the second attempt to test flight its ambitious Starship (starship spacecraft and super heavy booster integrated). The first attempt to test flight Starship was scheduled for yesterday (April 17, 2023) but it got shelved. At 394 feet, Starship is 90 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is believed to be the most powerful rocket ever built. This vehicle is being touted as the vehicle of the future to send astronauts to the moon, mars, and beyond. If everything had gone as per the plan then the launch for the maiden test flight of this space vehicle would have happened within the stipulated two-hour launch window yesterday (April 17, 2023), but this attempt had to be shelved just nine minutes before the planned liftoff. The date for a second attempt to launch Starship for the maiden test flight is Thursday (April 20, 2023). This being the maiden test flight, Elon Musk has not set very high goals. He is expecting precious data about the ascent of vehicles into space and return journey to Earth. SpaceX team was going ahead with launch preparations for yesterday while Elon Musk was anticipating the postponement of the launch, Musk was proved right.
How valuable is Starship?
Starship is very important for future space missions. It is the most powerful space vehicle ever built and is designed to carry crew and cargo to the moon, mars, and beyond. This is a fully reusable spacecraft. Super heavy booster, the first stage of the starship launch system, is completely reusable and will land at the launch site after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. The second stage of the starship system starship spacecraft is also fully reusable and very capable of carrying crew and cargo to the moon, mars, and beyond. It can enable transformation between any two points on Earth within an hour.
Where is the launch site?
SpaceX test site in Texas is the site for the maiden test flight of Starship. This site called Starbase is nearby to the Gulf of Mexico. As the maiden test flight of Starship couldn’t happen on Monday as per the anticipation of Elon Musk, it has been rescheduled for Thursday (April 20, 2023).
Falcon 9 versus Starship
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has been launched 24 times in 2023 and is easily the most frequently launched rocket. Starship is basically the next stage of SpaceX rocketry. It can carry more people and cargo to space. Reduction in cost is also expected. SpaceX has got an order from NASA to build a variant of Starship to carry astronauts to the moon’s surface in Artemis missions. Mr. Musk has the ambition to send people to Mars and this rocket is at present regarded as vital for the fulfillment of that ambition.
In the future SpaceX will have to add many other things to its armory apart from Starship to fulfill the dream of Mr. Musk of sending people to Mars.
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