SpaceX scrubbed their historic launch attempt of the Starship rocket today due to a valve issue that popped-up during the final countdown this morning at Starbase in southern Texas. SpaceX founder Elon Musk Tweeted, “A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today.” He followed-up adding it’ll take at least 48 hours to reset for launch, which means the next attempt won’t occur before April 19. With a valve issue producing a pressurization concern, mission controllers decided to transition today’s flight test to a wet dress rehearsal, allowing them to work through the vehicle’s pre-flight procedures and learn more about the rocket and its systems.
“The point of the countdown is to allow the teams to progress that T-zero time in a coordinated fashion and really to unveil any issues prior to the ignition sequence. So the countdown did its job today,” said SpaceX’s Kate Tice during today’s launch coverage.
After the wet dress rehearsal, SpaceX Tweeted, “With a test such as this, success is measured by how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship.”
SpaceX is planning to revolutionize space travel with its new Starship rocket. Space X has designed Starship to be a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond. Several tests have occurred up to this point and more tests are planned in the months ahead before people travel on Starship.
The Starship and its Super Heavy Rocket booster, known together simply as “Starship,” is the largest, most powerful rocket ever built, standing 394 feet high tall and measuring 29.5 feet wide. It is capable of generating an almost unbelievable 16.7 million pounds of thrust at liftoff from its 33 SpaceX-designed Raptor engines, twice the power of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket.
Today would have been the first orbital flight of the giant rocket, ending its mission with a fiery explosion north of the Hawaiian Islands just 90 minutes after lift-off.