SpaceX: Camera feed freezes upon Starship SN11 landing
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SpaceX has already blown up four Starship prototypes since December last year and pressure is mounting on Elon Musk’s company to ace the imminent test flight. SN15 is the fourth full-scale iteration of the Mars-bound rocket and is due to launch from SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility in South Texas. After weeks of uncertainty concerning SN15’s launch date, all clues point towards the rocket finally launching later today (May 4).
SpaceX fans have been desperate to see the SN15 in action.
The last Starship model, the SN11, came crashing down into the launch pad on March 30 after a mid-flight engine fire.
The fire fried some of the rocket’s avionics, preventing the SN11 from safely touching down in one piece.
Hopes are high, however, for the SN15, which Mr Musk said has “hundreds of design improvements” on its predecessors.
What time will the Starship SN15 launch?
SpaceX has issued an evacuation notice for the residents of Boca Chica Village, indicating a launch is imminent.
As with every SpaceX launch, there is a potential safety to public health.
And if the last four Strship flights have proven anything, it is that rockets are very much akin to flying bombs.
The evacuation notice indicates SpaceX’s launch window opens at 6pm BST today and closest at 2am tomorrow (12pm to 8pm CDT).
The notice reads: “There is a risk that a malfunction of the SpaceX vehicle during these activities will create an overpressure event that can break windows.”
“At a minimum”, residents have been urged to leave their homes when police sirens sound 10 minutes before the launch.
The rocket will soar to an altitude of at least 32,000ft (10km), after which it will attempt to touch back down on the launch pad in one piece.
If the rocket hits the ground too hard – as it has done so far – chances are it will blow up into a ball of flames.
Mary, a resident of Boca Chica Village and a member of NASASpaceflight, tweeted: “I have received an ALert notice for tomorrow and a road closure has been scheduled.
“I am so ready to watch Starship SN15 fly. May the 4th be with you!”
The launch date coincides with worldwide celebrations of the sci-fi epic Stars Wars as the date May 4 sounds like a play on the Star Wars catchphrase, “may the force be with you”.
However, keep in mind SpaceX has pulled the plug on Starship at the very last minute multiple times before and for many different reasons.
Should the launch be delayed or scrubbed due to poor weather or technical problems, a backup window is in place.
Cameron County officials have pencilled in more road closures on Wednesday from 6pm to 2am BST (12pm to 8pm BST).
SpaceX fans have been sharing their excitement for the launch on social media, keeping their fingers crossed all goes according to plan today.
One person said: “This is always a good sign of a probable launch when Mary gets an alert notice.”
Another person said: “Starting the #SN15 launch day with the 1967 Classic film “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun”.
“This is the film Starship makes me think of every time they fly one.
“Really hoping SN15 and those Raptors land today to prove the concept of the flip.”
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