SpaceX aborts first attempt of Starship SN8′s high-altitude test flight

BOCA CHICA, Texas – Space fans will just have to wait another day after SpaceX aborted its first attempt at a high-altitude test flight for its SN8 Starship Prototype in Boca Chica on Tuesday.

The test was attempted about 4:30 p.m. but was aborted with about 1.3 seconds to launch after what appeared to be a malfunction in one of the three Raptor engines used to propel the spacecraft, meaning certain conditions were not right and the engines were programmed to automatically shut down. SpaceX has yet to say what triggered the abort.

There are also test windows available on Wednesday and Thursday.

Starship SN8 is expected to fly more than 41,000 feet into the air, do a now-iconic bellyflop or skydiving-like maneuver and then correct itself just before landing on the launchpad. This is the first test of its kind.

The spacecraft is a two-stage vehicle that founder Elon Musk hopes will one day take as many as 100 people to Mars.

It’s the first Starship to be fully outfitted with a nosecone and flaps.

You can watch a replay of the first attempt below.


About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.