Starship SN8 Scrubs at end of the launch window

Space Coast, FL – Yesterday, SpaceX scheduled a high-altitude test flight for their next gen space vehicle Starship SN8. The launch window spanned from 0900-1700 CST (1500-2300 UTC). The morning held a lot of pad activity with SpaceX crews prepping the Starship for launch.

Starship SN8 on launch pad
Starship SN8 venting minutes prior to launch attempt | image: SpaceX

Starship Launch Attempt

During the day the usual process continued for an attempted launch. Crews were at the pad, they left the pad, the tank farm showed little activity and then crews returned. After ~2 hours the crews left the pad again and the real fun began.

Propellant started to load as the tank farm and Starship showed signs of life with venting. The launch window was coming to a close as SpaceX had T-5 min at 1630 CST. A short hold at T-13 secs occurred and then the countdown continued.

Wide shot of Starship SN8 on launch test pad
Starship SN8 perched high at SpaceX testing pad in Boca Chica Texas, USA | image: SpaceX

3, 2, 1.3….. A Raptor Abort was called at T-1.3 seconds. A Raptor engine auto-aborted the launch. This is a regular call in spaceflight as many sensors and software are used now to keep the rocket safe and intact. The engines shut down and the de-tanking of propellant started soon after. SpaceX advised they were standing down for the day.

Starship and Raptor Engines at moment of abort
Starship and Raptor engines abort at T-1.3 seconds from high-altitude test flight | image: SpaceX

SpaceX has additional test opportunities available on Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10. The schedule is dynamic and likely to change, as is the case with all development testing. Stay tuned for more information on the next target test date and time.

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