SpaceX Starship rocket goes for second launch attempt

SpaceX launched its second Starship rocket flight on Saturday, with the company looking to push the development of the mammoth vehicle past new milestones.

Liftoff came a few minutes after 8 a.m. ET from its Starbase facility near Boca Chica, Texas.

The company is webcasting the launch in realtime solely on X, formerly known as Twitter.

SpaceX first launched a full Starship rocket system in April. Although that flight did not reach space, it successfully achieved multiple historic firsts for an experimental rocket of unprecedented scale. The mid-air destruction of the rocket, as well as an investigation into damage caused back on the ground, triggered a regulatory review that spanned nearly seven months.

The Federal Aviation Administration cleared SpaceX for a second launch attempt earlier this week.

SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket is prepared for launch from the company’s Boca Chica launchpad on an uncrewed test flight, near Brownsville, Texas, U.S. November 15, 2023. 

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Starship system

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The rocket is powered by liquid oxygen and liquid methane. The full system requires more than 10 million pounds of propellant for launch.

The Starship system is designed to be fully reusable and aims to become a new method of flying cargo and people beyond Earth. The rocket is also critical to NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the moon. SpaceX won a multi-billion dollar contract from the agency to use Starship as a crewed lunar lander as part of NASA’s Artemis moon program.

Musk previously said he expects the company to spend about $2 billion Starship development this year.

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