SpaceX postponed by one day the highly anticipated second launch of the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, Starship, due to technical problems, Elon Musk, the boss of the American company, announced Thursday.
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This second test flight will be closely scrutinized by NASA, which is counting on this spacecraft for its return missions to the Moon, after a first attempt which ended in a huge explosion in the spring.
Elon Musk said on . “The launch is therefore postponed to Saturday,” he concluded.
On April 20, Starship took off for the first time in its full configuration. But several engines did not work, and SpaceX intentionally blew up the rocket after four minutes.
The rocket disintegrated into a ball of fire and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, sending a cloud of dust over a town several miles away.
Over seven months, the launch pad was rebuilt, and a water “deluge” system was installed and tested. These downpours of water discharged when the engines are started must attenuate the acoustic waves, limiting vibrations.
In the long term, SpaceX plans to use Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, to reach the planet Mars.
But first, NASA expects SpaceX to deliver a modified version of the rocket to allow it to land on the Moon as part of its Artemis missions.