Musk teases Starship SN11 flight Tuesday – Fox Business
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SpaceX’s high-altitude test flight for its Starship SN11 protoype spacecraft has been postponed until at least Tuesday.
“FAA inspector unable to reach Starbase in time for launch today,” CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday. “Postponed to no earlier than tomorrow.”
The Federal Aviation Administration revised SpaceX’s Starship license on March 12, which now requires a safety inspector from the agency to be present at SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas launch site for every flight.
“This is the result of FAA’s continuing oversight of SpaceX to ensure compliance with federal regulations to protect public safety, including issues arising from the SN8 launch in December 2020,” an FAA spokesperson told FOX Business. “SpaceX must provide adequate notice of its launch schedule to allow for a FAA safety inspector to travel to Boca Chica.”
The launch was originally set for Friday, but Musk tweeted that SpaceX was standing down until Monday, citing “additional checkouts” needed.
“Doing our best to land & fully recover,” Musk said.
As part of the test, the Starship prototype soars 6 feet into the air and performs a “bellyflop” manuever over the Gulf of Mexico, before flipping upright just in time to land.
Starship SN11 will mark SpaceX’sfourth high-altitude test flight. The aerospace’s company’s previous three attempts all ended in fiery explosions. However, SpaceX has been making progress as SN10, which launched earlier this month, was able to stick the landing before its explosion.
The stainless Starship is 160 feet tall and has a 30-foot diameter. SpaceX says it can carry more than 100 metric tons into orbit. Representatives for the company have said Starship, like their go-to Falcon 9 rocket, could also begin launching satellites into Earth’s orbit as soon as 2022, according to Space.com.