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How to watch SpaceX launch record-breaking Starship rocket on Thursday

Starship Flight Test

Update: SpaceX called off Monday’s launch attempt due to a technical issue. It’s now targeting Thursday, April 20. Full details below. 

SpaceX will soon attempt the first orbital flight of the Starship, the most powerful rocket ever made.

The launch window for the uncrewed test flight, which will lift off from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas, opens at 8:28 a.m. local time (6:28 a.m. PT / 9:28 a.m. ET) on Thursday, April 20.

The Starship mission should last around 90 minutes. If it goes to plan, the upper-stage Starship spacecraft will separate from the Super Heavy booster several minutes into the flight. The booster will then come down in the Gulf of Mexico, while the Starship will attempt to reach orbit. Again, if the flight proceeds as hoped, the Starship will come down off the coast of Hawaii following its orbital trip.

The Starship, comprising the first-stage Super Heavy and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, on the launchpad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
SpaceX / SpaceX

The first-stage Super Heavy booster is powered by 33 Raptor engines, which will create a record-breaking 17 million pounds of thrust at launch, more than twice that of NASA’s mighty Space Launch System, which recently sent a spacecraft on a flyby of the moon.

The 395-feet-tall (120 meters) Starship is a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying both crew and cargo to Earth orbit. When it’s ready, it’s likely to be used for missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

Musk and his team will be ecstatic if the mission proceeds perfectly, but won’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t. Whatever happens, the event will provide engineers with plenty of useful data so that it can refine the design of the vehicle and its flight systems.

How to watch

SpaceX’s launch window opens at 8:28 a.m. local time in Bocal Chica, Texas (6:28 a.m. PT / 9:28 a.m. ET) on Thursday, April 20.

A live webcast of the flight test will begin around 45 minutes before liftoff. You can watch it using the video player at the top of this page or by visiting SpaceX’s YouTube channel, which will carry the same feed.

“As is the case with all developmental testing, this schedule is dynamic and likely to change, so be sure to stay tuned to our social media channels for updates,” SpaceX said.

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Trevor Mogg
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