SpaceX Releases Starship Orbital Live Updates

22 minutes ago

NASA chief congratulates SpaceX

NASA President Bill Nelson congratulated SpaceX after the first integrated flight test.

“Every great achievement throughout history demands some level of calculated risk, because with great risk comes great reward,” he said. In a tweet. “We look forward to everything SpaceX learns, the next flight test and beyond.”

– Sarah Salinas

31 minutes ago

Atmosphere in Texas

SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft lifted off from its powerful Super Heavy rocket on April 20, 2023, for a brief test flight from the company’s Boca Chica launch pad near Brownsville, Texas, USA.

Ko Nakamura | Reuters

After the launch the crowd has now mostly dispersed.

Spectators packed the beach on South Padre Island cheered as the super-heavy booster ignited, and screamed even louder as the rocket began to move from the launch pad.

Those cheers were quickly drowned out by the thunder of the starship’s Raptor rocket engines. I wore earplugs and the sound of the engines shook the ground as the starship disappeared from view into the sky, and I felt like I wasn’t there.

– Michael Sheets

37 minutes ago

Next data review

SpaceX has indicated that the company will review data from launch to develop its next venture.

“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help improve the reliability of the starship.”

– Michael Sheets

39 minutes ago

Musk teases the next test launch

Musk tweeted after the 3-plus-minute flight that the company “learned a lot” and teased “next test launch in a few months.”

– Sarah Salinas

41 minutes ago

View from South Padre Island

Here’s a view of the launch from South Padre Island, five miles from the launch pad.

– Michael Sheets

43 minutes ago

No crew on board

SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft lifted off from its powerful Super Heavy rocket on April 20, 2023, for a brief test flight from the company’s Boca Chica launch pad near Brownsville, Texas, USA.

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Ko Nakamura | Reuters

To be clear, there was no one aboard this first attempt to reach space by starship. The company’s leadership has previously emphasized that SpaceX expects to fly hundreds of Starship missions before people can launch them on rockets.

– Michael Sheets

48 minutes ago

A major milestone has been reached

Before the mid-flight failure, the starship reached a major milestone: the super-heavy booster successfully separated from the rocket and began its descent back to Earth.

– Sarah Salinas

52 minutes ago

Lack of space

The SpaceX Starship lifts off from the launch pad during a flight test from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas on April 20, 2023.

Patrick D. Fallen | AFP | Good pictures

According to Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, the SpaceX rocket flew a maximum of 39 kilometers, or about 127,000 feet. That distance is less than the internationally recognized 100 kilometers as the limit of space.

– Michael Sheets

57 minutes ago

The starship failed mid-flight

SpaceX’s Starship launched from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas on Thursday, April 20, 2023. The giant new rocket exploded in the Gulf of Mexico minutes after its first test flight.

Eric K | AP

The Starship rocket failed in mid-air about 4 minutes after its historic launch. The company said in a tweet that a “rapid unplanned extraction” had occurred, indicating that the rocket had been destroyed. As a reminder, no group is on the boat.

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

First flight views from the plane

SpaceX’s live stream showed the first on-board images from mid-flight 2 minutes after launch.

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

Liftoff

SpaceX’s next-generation Starship spacecraft lifts off from its powerful Super Heavy rocket from the company’s Boca Chica launch pad on April 20, 2023, for a brief test flight near Brownsville, Texas, USA.

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Spacex | Reuters

The starship is launched, the super-heavy booster fires its Raptor engines and lifts off from the pad.

– Michael Sheets

An hour ago

holding

SpaceX engineers have a 40-second countdown clock to check the systems.

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

Earrings

With a minute to spare, I put on earplugs.

The agency warned that the sound of the rocket booster’s 33 engines firing simultaneously could be heard in nearby districts. SpaceX noted that “individuals’ experience will depend on weather and other conditions,” but the bottom line is that higher rockets are much louder.

– Michael Sheets

An hour ago

Impulse loading continues, a stage complete

The SpaceX Starship sits on the launch pad, seen from South Padre Island, Texas, as it prepares for a flight test from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, on April 20, 2023.

Patrick D. Fallen | AFP | Good pictures

One stage of propellant loading is complete, says Innsbrucker, “and the second stage closes the header tank load.

Loading is expected to be completed at the remaining stage T-3, notes Insbrücker, adding, “We’re not hearing the demand we have right now.”

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

‘good news’

John Innsbrucker, SpaceX’s principal integration engineer, said there was only “good news” for SpaceX teams on T-12, and that there were no significant problems with the launch vehicle.

“Everything continues to go well to start on time,” he said.

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

Under D-15

The countdown to launch is down to T-15, about the time SpaceX halted Monday’s attempt due to a frozen pressure valve.

– Sarah Salinas

An hour ago

Starship by the numbers

The SpaceX Starship rocket stands on the launch pad from the SpaceX Starbase in Boca Chica as seen from South Padre Island, Texas on April 17, 2023.

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Patrick D. Fallen | AFP | Good pictures

Fully stacked on a superheavy booster, the Starship is 394 feet tall and about 30 feet in diameter—the tallest rocket ever assembled.

A super heavy booster is what starts the rocket’s journey into space. At its base are 33 Raptor engines that together generate 16.7 million pounds of thrust — more than double the 8.8 million pounds of thrust of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which launched for the first time late last year.

The starship has six Raptor engines, three for use in Earth’s atmosphere and three for operating in the vacuum of space.

– Michael Sheets

An hour ago

Starship refuels

SpaceX loads the Super Heavy Booster with liquid oxygen and liquid methane, the propellants the company uses to fuel rocket engines.

In total, the rocket is loaded with more than 10 million pounds of propellant.

– Michael Sheets

An hour ago

Press conferences on South Padre Island

Press assembles on South Padre Island to watch SpaceX attempt to launch its Starship rocket on April 20, 2023.

Michael Sheets | CNBC

I’m sitting on some makeshift bleachers with other journalists near the amphitheater on the southern tip of South Padre Island, overlooking the starship on the launch pad five miles away.

For reference, the press base at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is just over three miles from the launch pad in Florida.

It’s a bit foggy here near the starbase, and SpaceX said its launch team is “keeping an eye on the weather.”

– Michael Sheets

2 hours ago

Boot window

SpaceX has a 62-minute window to receive the Starship today. The window opens at 9:28 a.m. ET and runs through 10:30 a.m. ET.

– Michael Sheets

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