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Technology & Entrepreneurship

SpaceX South Texas Launch Delayed Friday, May Come Early Next Week

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Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio
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Texas Public Radio
The SN1 under construction Sept 2019 at the SpaceX's South Texas facility.

Space X will not launch its Starship prototype, the SN8, Friday as planned. The launch may happen Sunday or early next week.

The Federal Aviation Administration retracted a previous authorization allowing the test flight from the company’s South Texas Launch site at Boca Chica Beach, east of Brownsville.

When it does eventually launch, it will be the highest the vehicle has risen, flying to more than 40,000 feet.

It will then attempt to land. SpaceX founder Elon Musk gave the landing a one in three chance of success.

Several of the company’s prototypes have exploded during tests over the past year. SN1 exploded in a cryopressure test Feb. 28.

The SN5 flew to 500 feet on one of the company’s raptor engines in August. The SN6 repeated the effort in September. The design of the starship is designed for six raptor engines.

The SN8 reportedly has three. Those engines have been fired multiple times in expectation of the next launch, most recently on Nov. 24. Two others are in production currently.

SpaceX FAA TFR
Federal Aviation Administration
FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions for SpaceX Boca Chica Launch Facility

The FAA has restricted flights in the area starting Sunday and extending through Tuesday in expectation of a launch.

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