SpaceX launches test of Starship megarocket

SpaceX attempts another launch of Starship, the world’s most powerful rocket that is vital to NASA’s plans for landing astronauts on the Moon later this decade — and Elon Musk’s hopes of eventually colonizing Mars.

Two previous attempts have ended in spectacular explosions, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing: The company has adopted a rapid trial-and-error approach in order to accelerate development, and the strategy has brought success in the past.

Blastoff from the company’s launch site in southeast Texas was planned for 8:10 local time (1310 GMT) with weather 70 percent favorable, SpaceX says.

SpaceX is running a webcast on its website.

When the two stages of Starship are combined, the rocket stands 397 feet (121 meters) tall — beating the Statue of Liberty by a comfortable 90 feet.

Its Super Heavy Booster produces 16.7 million pounds (74.3 Meganewtons) of thrust, almost double that of the world’s second most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) — though the latter is now certified, while Starship is still a prototype.

Most Popular