SpaceX to attempt launching Starship for second time
SpaceX was to launch its Starship for its maiden test flight on Monday (April 17, 2023) but shelved the plan nine minutes before the scheduled liftoff. It was decided that the next attempt to launch Starship would be made on April 20, 2023. Yesterday is April 20, 2023, and SpaceX is ready for the launch. Pressurization issues created by a problem with a valve caused an abrupt halt to the first launch attempt. It is true that too much is riding on the successful launch of Starship for SpaceX and its CEO Elon Musk but only SpaceX will not have to face the consequences of the failed launch of Starship. The successful launch of this vehicle can start a new era of human exploration of space and its failed launch can be detrimental to human exploration of space in near future. This vehicle is being touted as the most powerful rocket ever built. No vehicle is more capable than Starship to send astronauts to the moon, mars, and beyond. NASA is relying on SpaceX to build a variant of Starship for its Artemis missions.
Starship’s successful launch is vital for the eventuality of man reaching Mars soon. At present no other vehicle looks capable of catapulting man to Mars. The hour-long window for the launch of Starship is opening at 9.28 am ET yesterday (Thursday). This two-part vehicle (230 feet tall super heavy rocket booster with 164 feet tall Starship spacecraft atop it) is already positioned for launch at SpaceX’s Starbase spaceport in Texas. This is a test flight and after 2 and a half minutes of launch rocket will detach from the Starship spacecraft and fall into the ocean. After detachment from the rocket, the spacecraft will rely on its own engines to attain orbital velocity to complete an orbit of the earth before falling into the Pacific Ocean 90 minutes after the launch. Though this is a test flight but a very significant test flight.
Years of perseverance are behind the development of this vehicle touted as the most powerful rocket ever built by man. Testing began years ago and many flights ended with explosions due to attempts to land prototypes upright. Musk has attempted to temper expectations from the maiden launch of Starship by stating that he is not expecting spectacular success in the first launch attempt. SpaceX has developed the tradition of embracing failures as failures help refine the design.
Musk had himself envisaged a 50-50 chance of success for the maiden launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
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