SpaceX scrubs first test launch of behemoth Starship

SpaceX has scrubbed a highly anticipated test flight of its behemoth conducted a test-firing of the booster, igniting 31 of its 33 Raptor engines for roughly 10 seconds with the rocket bolted in place vertically atop a platform.

Monday’s launch was planned just three days after the Federal Aviation Administration granted a licence for the test, clearing a final regulatory hurdle for the long-awaited launch.

Still, Musk, speaking to a live event on Twitter Spaces on Sunday, said he wanted to “set expectations low” because “probably tomorrow will not be successful – if by successful one means reaching orbit”.

“It’s a very risky flight,” Musk said. “It’s the first launch of a very complicated, gigantic rocket”.

If a launch does go according to plan, all 33 Raptor engines will ignite simultaneously to loft the Starship on a flight that nearly completes a full orbit of the Earth before it re-enters the atmosphere and free-falls into the Pacific at supersonic speed about 60 miles (97 km) off the coast of the northern Hawaiian islands.

After separating from the Starship, the Super Heavy booster is expected to execute the beginnings of a controlled return flight before plunging into the Gulf of Mexico.

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