LAUNCH CENTER

Launch Image
Failure
Thu Apr 20 2023
SpaceX

Integrated Flight Test

Launch Failure
LAUNCH PREVIEW

Launch Time

April 20, 2023 at 9:33 AM EDT

(April 20, 2023 at 1:33 PM UTC)

Launch Window Start

April 20, 2023 at 9:28 AM EDT

(April 20, 2023 at 1:28 PM UTC)

Launch Window End

April 20, 2023 at 10:30 AM EDT

(April 20, 2023 at 2:30 PM UTC)

RECOVERY OVERVIEW

Location

No Recovery Specified

Type

No Recovery Specified

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    MISSION OVERVIEW
    • Type: Test Flight
    • Maiden flight of the two-stage Starship launch vehicle. The booster was supposed to separate 170 seconds into flight and return to land approximately 32 km off the shore in the Gulf of Mexico. The second stage would have followed a suborbital trajectory and performed an unpowered splashdown approximately 100 km off the northwest coast of Kauai (Hawaii). A launch failure was experienced before stage separation.
    • <p>Maiden flight of the two-stage Starship launch vehicle. The booster will separate 170 seconds into flight and return to land approximately 32 km off the shore in the Gulf of Mexico. The second stage will achieve orbit until performing a powered, targeted splashdown approximately 100 km off the northwest coast of Kauai (Hawaii).</p><p></p><h2><strong><span style="color: #f5f5f5">The Goal</span></strong></h2><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">The primary goal of this flight test is to demonstrate the capabilities of the first fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket. This test will validate the vehicle's design, performance, and operation through all phases of flight including liftoff, Max-Q, staging, first RVac ignition in space, booster splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, and finally Ship entry &amp; splashdown off the coast of Hawaii. The successful completion of this flight test will pave the way for future manned and unmanned missions to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">The SpaceX launch team, located in the Stargate building at the Starbase build site, will gather data on the vehicle's flight characteristics and performance during the ascent and descent phases of the flight. This data will help the SpaceX team better understand how the vehicle operates under different conditions and inform future design decisions. Additionally, the test will provide valuable information about the performance of the various subsystems and components of the integrated vehicle, including propulsion, avionics, communication, thermal protection, and other critical systems.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">The test will also evaluate the launch and ground support infrastructure (Stage Zero), including the launch pad, launch and catch tower, and ground control systems. This will help the SpaceX team identify any areas for improvement and optimize the launch operations to ensure the safety and success of future missions.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Finally, the test will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship. By learning from the data and experience gained during this flight test, the SpaceX team can make informed decisions and implement improvements to increase the reliability and performance of the vehicle and systems.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br><br></span></p><h2><strong><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Viewing In Person</span></strong></h2><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">If you are heading down to Starbase for the historic mission, here is what you need to know - what to do, what not do, and more.&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><h3><strong><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Going Out To Starbase</span></strong></h3><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">When you’re heading out to see Starbase, it is important you check road closures and respect that you are visiting an active launch facility, here’s some key information and links to help you stay in the loop and not trespass onto SpaceX property.</span></p><p></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Firstly, road closures – SpaceX use road closures to keep the public safe during hazardous operations, including testing and lifting operations. But, there are 2 types of road closures: testing closures, and rolling closures. With testing closures, no one (including SpaceX officials) are allowed past the Sheriff checkpoint. However, with rolling closures - of which we do not anticipate any leading up to the flight, you can drive behind the Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) as it carries the vehicl;e to its destination. You can find a list of road closures on the Cameron County website </span><a target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow" href="https://www.cameroncountytx.gov/spacex/"><u><span style="color: #f5f5f5">here</span></u></a><span style="color: #f5f5f5">.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Starbase is a particularly public launch facility as it is positioned along a state highway - Highway 4. With this comes a lot of confusion with where you can and can not go at the facility. A general rule of thumb is to stay on the opposite side of the road from Starbase. The only exception to this is the dunes which allow you to get ridiculously close to Starship, and Boca Chica Beach, we will explain more about those areas below.</span></p><p></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">With the dunes, you are able to get closer than ever before to the fully stacked Starship rocket with an uninterrupted view from the back of the launch site. But, be sure to watch out for posts in the ground indicating the start of SpaceX’s property line. However, these are lightly marked and may not be easy to spot, so we recommend you don’t travel too close to the pad. Please also note that the sand dunes can be not only hazardous to drive on, but also extremely busy, particularly as a launch date is on the horizon.</span></p><p></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Boca Chica Beach offers a great view of not only Starship, but also the beautiful coast. If you chose to walk down the beach, we suggest you park your vehicle at the side of the road and walk to the beach.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><h3><strong><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Watching The Launch</span></strong></h3><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">We’ve made it to launch day, the vehicle is ready to go, license in hand, all hazard zones in place – where can you watch from, and what does launch day look like?<br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">On launch day, we recommend watching from South Padre Island (~5mi from the pad) or Port Isabel which is similarly distanced. This is about as close as you can get to the vehicle without being in Mission Control. Regardless of whether you are 5 or 10mi from the launch site, you are guaranteed excitement at T-8s when the 33 Raptor engines ignite on Booster 7, and liftoff occurs at T-0. Bear in mind that sound takes time to travel and as such you will see the launch before you hear the sound of the monstrous Raptor engines.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">On launch day – we expect village evacuation to occur the night before to allow for an early morning launch window, and the road can be closed as early as midnight local time (NET L-7 hours). The SpaceX Flight Director (FD) will poll the launch team stationed in the Stargate building. Approximately 21 minutes following a “GO” from the team, the propellant loading sequence begins. You can find a list of events in the Timeline tab.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5"><br></span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">REMINDER: This is a test flight, and a loss of vehicle is a possible outcome. If the vehicle experiences an anomaly, the SpaceX Range Officer (RO) will terminate the flight to ensure public safety, however, a shockwave is possible following the termination. You should discuss with whom you are attending the launch with on what your plan is for the case of an anomaly in first stage flight.<br></span></p><h2><strong><span style="color: #f5f5f5">Viewing Online</span></strong></h2><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">TLP live coverage of the historic first launch of a fully integrated Starship/Super-Heavy rocket will begin at approximately 5:30am CDT (10:30am UTC). Our host team, Zac and Dakota, are on location and will be taking questions throughout the broadcast.</span></p><p><span style="color: #f5f5f5">PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of this test flight, times are highly subject to change and our coverage start times may vary accordingly. Stay tuned to our social media for updates.</span></p>
    COMPLEX OVERVIEW

    Location

    SpaceX Starbase, TX, USA

    Pad

    Orbital Launch Mount A