SpaceX shoots for mid-November for next Starship launch attempt

1st launch attempt exploded in April

A new Starship rocket is stacked on a launch pad at SpaceX's facility. (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – SpaceX is hoping to try another test of its Starship super heavy rocket in Texas later this month, pending approval by the federal government.

The company announced Friday it was looking at mid-November for the next launch attempt. SpaceX still needs environmental approval, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that process could finish as soon as Nov. 18.

Starship is a fully reusable super heavy rocket that, should it be successful, would become integral in NASA’s mission to create a sustained presence on the moon and perhaps one day on Mars.

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The nearly 400-foot spacecraft and rocket made its first launch attempt from SpaceX’s launch facility in Texas back in April. The rocket started tumbling and then exploded four minutes after launch.

The Federal Aviation Administration said SpaceX had to take more than 60 corrective actions with the rocket before the next launch attempt. SpaceX said those actions have been completed.

SpaceX said the next test will debut some new systems, including a hot-stage separation system for the super heavy Raptor engines. There will also be a water-cooled flame deflector to help mitigate the impact of the 16 million pounds of thrust Starship’s 33 engines generate.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.