The enormous SpaceX Starship rocket will attempt a new launch before the end of summer. The largest and most powerful rocket ever built, which was first launched on April 20, will depart for its second attempt.
Damages from the first test
The test flight, from SpaceX’s Starbase site in southern Texas, aimed to send the upper stage of the spacecraft around the Earth. Unfortunately, it did not happen. While the vehicle achieved some significant milestones, it also encountered several serious issues. For these reasons, SpaceX sent a self-destruct command a few minutes after liftoff.
Since then, fans, but especially NASA, have been wondering when Starship will be launched again. The company’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, responded via Twitter in recent days. SpaceX is working on it, and Starship will make a new launch that should take place within six to eight weeks. This timing might be ambitious, considering the amount of preparation work required before the second flight.
It is worth noting that the first attempt damaged the orbital launch pad (OLP) at Starbase. The damage was such that it created a huge crater beneath it and sent pieces of concrete flying, some as large as cars. To address this, SpaceX has developed and tested a water-cooled steel plate that will be positioned under the support to prevent a recurrence of this issue.
Dispute with environmentalists
The company may also face some regulatory hurdles. A coalition of environmental groups is currently suing the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), claiming that the agency that issued the Starship launch license did not properly assess the potential damage that the giant vehicle could inflict on the ecosystem and humans.
It is also worth noting that “six to eight weeks” is not a randomly chosen timeframe. Musk has outlined a similar timeline through his Twitter communications for the previous launch.
Among the interested spectators is undoubtedly the American space agency. NASA believes in the new space transportation system and has selected Starship as the first crewed lander for its Artemis lunar program. The spacecraft is expected to transport NASA astronauts to the lunar surface by 2025, assuming no further delays accumulate during the schedule.