First test flight of the largest missile system failed

The “Starship” project is intended to bring people back to the moon – and eventually to Mars. But a defective valve throws the company back again.


SpaceX’s Starship rocket stands on the launch pad in Boca Chica. Patrick T Fallon/AFP

The first test flight of the largest rocket system ever built in space history has been postponed at short notice. The “Starship” rocket system from Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX was supposed to take off for a first short test flight on Monday in Brownsville, Texas. However, shortly before the scheduled launch, a problem with a valve surfaced and SpaceX decided to postpone the test launch, according to the company’s livestream and Twitter.

Another test start is possible in 48 hours at the earliest – when exactly this should take place was not yet clear. “The team is working towards the next available opportunity,” said SpaceX.

The “Starship” rocket system – consisting of the approximately 70-meter-long “Super Heavy” booster and the approximately 50-meter-long upper stage, also called “Starship”, is intended to enable manned missions to the moon and Mars in the future. The “Starship” system is designed in such a way that the spaceship and rocket can be reused after returning to earth.

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