Musk says 2nd test flight of full Starship rocket system may happen on Nov 17

Washington, Nov 14 (Agency) SpaceX founder Elon Musk said he was notified that federal approval could be given in time to conduct a second test flight of the full Starship rocket system on November 17. “Was just informed that approval to launch should happen in time for a Friday launch,” Musk said late Monday night. The Starship rocket system would launch from Starbase, Texas, located near South Padre Island in the southern tip of the state. The first launch of the full Starship rocket system took place on April 20, becoming the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built. The spacecraft was deliberately terminated during the test flight after it began to lose altitude when multiple engines failed.

The spacecraft climbed to an apogee of about 39 kilometers (24 miles) over the Gulf of Mexico, which is the highest point any Starship spacecraft has reached to-date in the program’s history. Musk recently said SpaceX implemented major upgrades to the Starship rocket system that will increase its chances of reaching orbit on the second test flight. The nearly 400-foot Starship rocket system uses two reusable components, including the Super Heavy Booster that uses 33 methane-powered Raptor engines and the Starship spacecraft that is equipped with another six Raptor engines. The Starship is the centerpiece of SpaceX efforts to develop a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry humans to the Moon and on long-duration flights to Mars and beyond. The system is designed for in-space refueling and the ability to land at destinations across the solar system and return to Earth.