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How to watch SpaceX launch Starship SN11, the latest Mars rocket prototype



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SN10 and its predecessor, SN9, on the launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas, in early February. SN11 is next.

SpaceX

The last three next-generation rockets of Elon Musk’s early model have all met dramatic and fiery ends after their first test flights at high altitude. The newest prototype, SN11, is on the launch pad of the SpaceX Starship development facility in Boca Chica, Texas, and is expected to fly this week.

SpaceX had been eyeing a possible launch on Monday, but Musk tweeted, “FAA inspector cannot reach Starbase in time for today’s launch. Postponed until no sooner than tomorrow.” “Starbase” is the name Musk gave to SpaceX’s Texas facilityThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decides or Starship may fly

Starship is that the big rocket that Musk has promised will eventually take people to the moon, Mars and perhaps beyond by the end of this decade.

The SN series prototypes are stripped-down three-engine versions of the spacecraft. SN8, SN9 and SN10 all made successful high-altitude flights, followed by progressively softer but still too hard landings. SN8 and SN9 both exploded on impact; SN10 exploded minutes after a rough landing on the landing pad.

The hope is that SN11 could be the first of its kind to survive flight and landing.

SpaceX’s Starship prototype has just made its first soft touchdown.

SpaceX

The prototype underwent a few test fires this week, and SpaceX announced that an attempt could be made last Friday, but as low-lying clouds obstructed visibility, the flight was called off for today and local roads were reopened.

The test flight schedule is subject to change. When the day finally comes, keep in mind that there is no set time for the escape attempt. Basically, the Boca Chica team has a checklist to work through before launch, and when all items are checked, SN11 will be fueled for the flight.

Once refueling begins, launch is typically about 30-45 minutes away. A SpaceX live stream of the test flight should begin about five minutes before the blast and we’ll embed that feed here. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed @ericcmack for additional updates.

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