SpaceX scrubbed the eagerly anticipated test launch of its giant Starship rocket minutes before blastoff Monday.
The launch from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, would have been the first flight test to integrate SpaceX’s Starship and Super Heavy rockets. The largest rocket ever built, Starship is designed to play a key role in returning humans to the Moon, as well as in future Mars exploration.
SpaceX scrubbed the uncrewed launch attempt about nine minutes before blastoff, apparently because of an issue related to its stage 1 rocket.
“A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today,” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
“Standing down from today’s flight test attempt; team is working towards next available opportunity,” SpaceX tweeted.
When it scrubbed the launch, SpaceX transitioned to a “wet dress rehearsal,” continuing to load propellant. SpaceX also continued its countdown to T-minus 40 seconds.
“Learned a lot today, now offloading propellant, retrying in a few days,” tweeted Musk.
“Unfortunately, due to needing to recycle the propellant, we’re looking at a minimum of 48 hours until we are able to attempt this flight test again,” said Kate Tice, SpaceX’s quality systems engineering manager, during the launch livestream.