SpaceX halts test flight of Starship rocket after valve freezes

People pass their time as they wait for the SpaceX Starship rocket to be launched in South Padre Island, Texas on April 17, 2023. – SpaceX on Monday postponed the first test flight of Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built. Liftoff of the giant rocket was called off just minutes ahead of the scheduled launch time because of a pressurization issue, SpaceX officials said. (Photo by VERONICA G. CARDENAS/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 12:58 PM – Monday, April 17, 2023

SpaceX’s powerful Starship rocket launch that was scheduled for Monday morning has been postponed by the corporation. This rocket is reportedly believed to be capable of carrying travelers to Mars and the moon in the near future.


According to SpaceX, the first flight test of a “fully integrated” Starship spacecraft with the so-called Super Heavy rocket would have taken place during the unmanned launch of the largest rocket in the world.

Just prior to liftoff, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that a “pressurant valve appears to be frozen,” thereby ruling out the Monday launch.

The attempted launch will now become a wet dress rehearsal, which simulates the entire rocket launch process, but doesn’t really involve liftoff.

SpaceX stated that the 150-minute test window opened on Monday at 7 a.m. CT and that the corporation was aiming for an 8:20 a.m. CT launch. 45 minutes prior to the scheduled liftoff, a live webcast of the flight test started, and the countdown clock was stopped at the 10-second mark.

The team stated during the webcast that it would take at least 48 hours to reset the rocket and determine the cause of the pressurization problem before attempting to launch Starship once more.

“Learned a lot today, now offloading propellant, retrying in a few days,” Musk tweeted after the launch was halted.

The date follows the Federal Aviation Administration’s Friday approval of SpaceX’s roughly 400-foot-tall rocket launch from a remote location near Boca Chica Beach on the southernmost part of Texas.

“Success maybe, excitement guaranteed!” Musk tweeted on Friday night.

Musk urged attendees of a Sunday night Twitter “Spaces” event to keep their expectations “low.”

After launch, the rocket’s first stage is anticipated to splash down about 20 miles off the coast of Boca Chica, while the Starship vehicle will orbit the earth before coming to a stop off the coast of Hawaii.

According to SpaceX, neither a vertical landing of Starship nor a catch of the rocket would be attempted during this initial flight test.

This flight test will “inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship,” which is intended to carry up to 100 passengers on lengthy, interplanetary voyages.

NASA has stated that they have already made plans to send astronauts to the moon’s surface in 2025 using a Starship.

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