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The Launch Of SpaceX’s Rocket Starship Delayed For 48 Hours

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The launch of the most powerful rocket, Starship, into space has been delayed for 48 hours. The space vehicle was built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

The uncrewed mission was aborted just a few minutes before its launch on Monday from Boca Chica, Texas due to a frozen “pressurant valve”, Musk tweeted. The Starship can be launched anytime later this week. 

Starship is about 120m (400ft) high, having more thrust than any of the previous rockets, aiming to send the upper stage of the rocket to complete one round around the globe. 

Before the launch was delayed, Musk asked everyone to calm their expectations for it is common for a rocket to go through some hurdles initially. At a Twitter space event, he said, “It’s the first launch of a very complicated, gigantic rocket, so it might not launch. We’re going to be very careful, and if we see anything that gives us concern, we will postpone the launch.” 

The coastal locations on the Gulf of Mexico were crowded with thousands of people to witness the Starship launch.

The US entrepreneur and owner of the SpaceX company was seeking to conquer the rocket business with Starship. The rocket was designed to be fully and rapidly reusable so that it could fly people and satellites into orbit several times in a day similar to a jet crossing the Atlantic.

Previously, the top portion of Starship was tested on short hops, but for the first time, it would be sent with its lower stage. In February, the massive booster, called Super Heavy, would fire while it is attached to its launch mount. However, the engines at that time were controlled to half their capability.

If everything goes as planned for the other launch this week, SpaceX will go ahead with 90% thrust, such that the stage would provide almost 70 meganewtons which is equal to the force required to push about 100 Concorde supersonic airliners to blast off.

Starship will launch and move down range across the Gulf with 33 methane-fuelled booster engines, at the bottom, powering the rocket for two minutes and 49 seconds.

When the rocket will separate into two halves, the top segment of the ship will carry on with its engines for six minutes and 23 seconds more. It should be flying over the Caribbean by this time while floating in space for over 100km (62 miles) above the surface of the Earth.

SpaceX desires that the Super Heavy booster flies back near the coast of Texas and vertically hover above the Gulf’s waters and then the rocket will drop into the water and sink.

Starship is expected to re-enter the planet’s atmosphere after completing one circuit of the planet and then lower towards the Pacific, north of the Hawaiian islands. It has a protective tiling to deal with the extreme heat while descending. It will dive into the ocean roughly an hour and a half after its launch.

SpaceX hopes that in the long run, the booster as well as the ship would land in a way for it to be refueled and relaunched. The company has been conducting tests at Boca Chica using different methods to construct steel stages. Various models are waiting to be tested.

The US space agency NASA is among the most interested spectators on Monday as it has offered SpaceX almost $3bn to build an adaption of Starship that will help land astronauts on the Moon.

Musk has plans to travel deeper into the Solar System, said Garrett Reisman, a professor of astronautical engineering at the University of Southern California. The SpaceX advisor and former astronaut told BBC News, “He sees Starship as potentially another giant paradigm shift, an incredible increase in capability, the capability to truly bring people on large scale to Mars.”

 “There’s a lot of potential benefits, but there’s also a lot of potential risks because this is very difficult. Nobody’s built a rocket anywhere near this big – twice as big as the next nearest thing.”

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