SpaceX Starship launch: Will SN10 launch this weekend?

SpaceX Starship explodes on landing during a test

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SpaceX fans worldwide are anxiously waiting for news of a launch date for the rocket that will one day carry humans to Mars. The Starship SN10 prototype was rolled out onto the launch pad last month where it narrowly escaped being damaged when its previous iteration, the SN9, crashed into the launch pad. The rocket launched on its first test flight, soaring to an altitude of 6.2 miles (10km) before attempting to touch back down at SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, South Texas.

But like the Starship SN8 before it, SN9 failed to stick the landing and instead was blown to smithereens.

As fans watched the 160ft-tall (50m) rocket erupt into a ball of flames, many were left wondering whether the SN10 will ace its first flight.

One person tweeted: “SN10 will land but the only question is in how many pieces?”

Another person said: “After two failures, it feels like the level of enthusiasm if SN10 lands will be up there with F9’s first landing 12/2015!

READ MORE: Starship SN10 edges closer to launch date after cryo test

“It was absolute madness. It was like the collective will of the company and all the fans were making it land! Still an epic rewatch.”

And a third person said: “I think SN10 will land but too hard and it will explode. SN11 will hit it perfectly if that’s the case.”

Both SN8 and SN9 perfectly executed the so-called belly-flop during their test flights but faltered in the last critical moment.

SN10 will be the next the rocket to launch using its three Raptor engines, then plunge to the ground belly-side down before attempting to gently touch down.

The manoeuvre, SpaceX said, will allow Starship to land on worlds such as Mars were airstrips are a rare commodity.

Will Starship SN10 launch this weekend?

Preparations are underway at Boca Chica to launch the SN10.

SpaceX has not confirmed a launch date yet but the company has already ticked off its first pre-flight rehearsal.

On Monday, February 8, the rocket was pumped full of liquid nitrogen to simulate the freezing temperatures and pressures of its rocket fuel.

Next up, SpaceX is expected to perform a static fire test of Starship’s Raptor engines.

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During a static fire test, the rocket is filled with fuel and the engines are ignited at full thrust but the spacecraft remains tethered to the ground.

Only then will SpaceX clear Starship for launch, pending approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Fans looking forward to a static fire test on Friday after Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr scheduled road closures around Boca Chica on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

But the closures have been called off, making it rather unlikely Starship will fly before the week is over.

Follow to find out whether Starship SN10 will launch next week.

Some SpaceX fans have vented their disappointment on social media.

One person tweeted: “With landing pad updates I wonder if SN10 will launch this month.

“Looking like no. But that may mean some super fast turn around between SN10 to SN11 and SN15.”

Another person said: “You are going to be waiting a long time.FAA still investigating SN9 explosion with SN10 STANDING right there.

“After dealing with FAA for 20 years I believe the first question FAA asked SpaceX about the explosion, ‘WHAT THE F@$K WERE YOU THINKING’ SN10 on launch pad, … no answer.”

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