After numerous delays, SpaceX looks finally set for its fourth major flight test of its Mars-bound Starship craft today.
Starship SN11 is already on the launchpad at the firm’s Boca Chica facility in Texas and has completed a static fire test in preparation for a launch attempt to 10km.
It comes just over three months after the first high-altitude flight of a Starship craft, with launches of SN8, SN9 and SN10 all ending in an explosion.
A successful launch and landing today will be a huge step towards Elon Musk’s ambition of colonising Mars with hundreds of Starships.
We will have SpaceX’s official stream of the event as soon as it is live, as well as all the latest updates below.
The team at NasaSpaceFlight also has an excellent camera set up and team on the ground, their stream is already live on YouTube.
Follow live updates below
Here’s how Starship SN11’s static fire test looked earlier in case you missed it.
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 15:10
The launchpad appears to have reopened, with a train of at least seven vehicles heading towards it. SpaceX engineers will do some checks following the static fire test and then prepare for a launch attempt.
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 14:52
Boca Chica Village on standby for evacuation.
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 14:22
Starship SN11 is currently venting following the static fire test, which is a good sign that things are progressing towards a flight test today.
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 13:45
The Starship SN11 test comes just over three weeks after the last SN10 launch and landing. It proved a massive success and achieved what its predecessors could not by actually landing, however roughly eight minutes later it performed a rapid unscheduled disassembly.
You can read the full report on that test here:
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 13:44
Before today’s launch attempt SpaceX needed to complete a final static fire test, which took place very early this morning.
There’s 11 hours left in this launch window now for SpaceX to complete the flight test. Times listed on Cameron County’s road closure notice are local time (12pm-12.30am Sat GMT).
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 13:31
Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of SpaceX’s Starship SN11 flight test.
It is the fourth major high-altitude jaunt for the Mars-bound craft, with all three previous attempts ending in a fiery explosion.
There have been numerous delays to the latest launch but now the weather is clear, local roads are closed, FAA clearance has been sought, and fingers are crossed that today is the day.
Anthony Cuthbertson26 March 2021 13:12