SpaceX Starship launch: When will Starship SN15 launch from Boca Chica? Closures scheduled

SpaceX Starship launch: When will Starship SN15 launch from Boca Chica? Closures scheduled


SpaceX: Camera feed freezes upon Starship SN11 landing

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Elon Musk and co are yet to launch and land a Starship prototype in one piece and the pressure to perform is mounting. To date, SpaceX has blown up four Starship iterations and fans worldwide are getting restless. The last Starship model, the Serial Number 11 (SN11) crashed into the launch pad on March 30 after a bit of faulty plumbing caused a small fire in the rocket’s engine bay.

Hopes are high for the SN15, however, as the next-gen rocket marks an improvement on its four predecessors.

With a raft of upgrades under its belt, SpaceX opted to skip on the SN12, SN13 and SN14 altogether.

SpaceX fans have been talking about the upcoming launch for weeks now, sharing their hopes and concerns for the SN15.

YouTube and spaceflight enthusiast Matt Lowne tweeted: “Big week approaching for Space Fans!

“Ingenuity prepares to ramp up the stakes with its flight, SN15 is expected to launch, a Delta IV Heavy will fly, and China will launch the first module of their Space Station.”

Another person said: “Think after winning the NASA contract, SN15 has to land on its legs and not explode after one to two minutes.”

And a third SpaceX fan said: “Beauty is something that gives you peace and a feeling of satisfaction!

“For instance watchin’ SN15 land in the single piece would be a hell of a beauty!”

With road closures around SpaceX’s Boca Chica facility scheduled for Monday, will the rocket that could one day fly to Mars launch this week?

SpaceX Starship explodes on landing during a test

Will the Starship SN15 launch this week?

Road closures and flight restrictions around Boca Chica in South Texas suggest a launch could be imminent.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr has ordered the closure of Boca Chica Beach and Highway 4 in anticipation of “SpaceX non-flight testing activities”.

The closure is in effect between 5pm and 2am BST (12pm and 8pm CDT) on Monday, April 26.

The order reads: “SpaceX and law enforcement authorities will be coordinating to ensure that no individuals or vehicles are allowed access to these areas during these times of the day.”

The closures suggest SpaceX will go ahead with a static fire test today – a critical wet rehearsal before the test flight.

During a static fire, the rocket’s three Raptor engines are briefly fired at full throttle but the rocket remains firmly tethered to the ground.

Once the static fire is out of the way, SpaceX will likely look to launch the rocket shortly after.

Temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) suggest SN15 could fly on Wednesday.

A TFR for the airspace around Boca Chica is in place from 1am on Wednesday, April 28, to 2am BST on Thursday, April 29.

The TFR specifies “space operations” up to an unlimited altitude, even though SN15 will only launch to an altitude of about 32,000ft (10km).

This is confirmed by an ATCSCC Advisory published by the FAA on Monday.

The document reads: “SpaceX Starship Boca Chica launch re-scheduled for April 28, 2021.”

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