Update for 1:45 pm ETSpaceX is apparently not attempting a Starship SN15 test flight today, and the road closures were filmed near their Starbase. The video above is provided by NASA space flight…
SpaceX may soon launch its latest Starship prototype from the Starbase test site in South Texas, but when exactly is unclear.
Starship SN15 (“Serial Number 15”), SpaceX’s newest vehicle, may soon be performing high-altitude tests from the company’s premises near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas. Cameron County officials, which includes the proving ground, announced the road closure today (April 30) due to a potential test flight.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued flight restriction notices to pilots in the area Friday through Sunday (April 30 – May 2) in case SpaceX decides to try flying over the weekend.
If SpaceX trying to take a test flight, you can watch it live thanks to the SpaceX webcast. SpaceX usually starts webcasts 5 or 10 minutes before launch. You can also follow Starship watching sites such as this YouTube channel from NASASpaceflight, channels from SPadre.com, LabPadre, and this stream from Everyday Astronaut.
Connected: SpaceX’s starship and super-heavy rocket in photos
On Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it has authorized SpaceX’s plans to launch SN15, as well as two more spacecraft – SN16 and SN17 – in the coming weeks.
“The FAA has authorized the next three launches of the SpaceX Starship prototype,” the FAA said in a statement. “The agency has approved several launches because SpaceX is making small changes to the launch vehicle and relies on the FAA’s approved methodology to calculate the risk to the public.”
SN15 is SpaceX’s fifth version of Starship, capable of flying in less than five months. SpaceX tested the rocket engine earlier this week to set the stage for the upcoming launch.
The first spaceship to fly, SN8, took off on December 9 and flew well, but crashed on landing. Each of the other three Starship flights (SN9, SN10 and SN11) had similar fates. SN10 landed but exploded minutes after landing. None of these flights were directed into space, instead targeting an altitude of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).
SpaceX is developing the Starship spacecraft as part of a reusable launch system for carrying heavy loads, which will also include a powerful booster called Super Heavy. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Starship will become the core of a flotilla of deep-space rockets for flights to the Moon and Mars.
NASA hooked up the Starship spacecraft to land the Artemis astronauts on the moon. SpaceX also sold a private Starship around the moon to Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who is looking for eight crew members to fly with him.
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