Skip to main content

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.

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
SpaceX Starship rocket launches in first test flight, but explodes in midair
spacex starship launch explosion

SpaceX has launched its integrated Starship for the first time, with the spacecraft and rocket leaving the launchpad on a test flight. However, not everything went smoothly during the test, as the rocket exploded before the separation of the Starship spacecraft from the Super Heavy rocket booster.

The launch from SpaceX's Starbase facility at Boca Chica in Texas saw the Starship leave the launch pad at 9:33 a.m. ET, consisting of the integrated Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy Booster, which form the world's most powerful rocket. The combined Starship will be used for future missions to the moon and beyond, launched from a launch-and-catch tower standing at an impressive height of nearly 500 feet tall.

Read more
SpaceX launches a different kind of Starship
SpaceX's Starship Torch.

On the same day that SpaceX failed to launch the first orbital test flight of its Starship vehicle, the company has managed to launch something similar but altogether smaller: the Starship Torch.

That’s right, folks, for a mere $175, you can be the proud owner of a torch that resembles a very small version of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft that’s currently sitting atop the Super Heavy rocket on a launchpad at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas.

Read more
SpaceX scrubs launch of world’s most powerful rocket due to valve issue
SpaceX's Starship rocket on the pad in Boca Chica, Texas.

The planned first test flight of the SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy rocket has been scrubbed. The launch of the world's most powerful rocket had been scheduled for today, Monday April 17, but was called off due to a frozen valve.

The decision was made to halt the countdown around 10 minutes before liftoff, turning the event today into a wet dress rehearsal instead of a test flight. That means the rocket was fueled and ready to launch, but did not actually leave the ground, and the countdown was halted around 40 seconds before liftoff. "A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter.

Read more