Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Another launch attempt for Starship #11 today

Starship #11 on launchpad, March 28, 2021
Screen capture from LabPadre Nerdle camera live stream,
taken at 10:27 am (Central).

UPDATE: Launch scrubbed because an FAA official was unable to get to the launch site today. Next attempt set for tomorrow.

Gee, launching rockets his hard. For government officials, however, getting on an airplane and arriving on time seems far more difficult.

Original post:
SpaceX is going to make another launch attempt today with its eleventh Starship prototype. The following live streams are presently available if you wish to watch:

When SpaceX adds its own live stream I will embed it below.

The screen capture on the right shows the status for the launch in that left column. When I captured the image they had only closed the road, which means the launch is still probably two hours away, at the least.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • LabPadre is showing it scrubbed for today. Gusts at 25mph have something to do with it?

  • V-Man

    Scrubbed for today. According to Elon on Twitter:

    “FAA inspector unable to reach Starbase in time for launch today. Postponed to no earlier than tomorrow.”

    Incompetence or political pressure?

  • Jay

    Don’t you know? It is a Monday. The same goes for Fridays as well.

  • David Eastman

    Scrubbed, because the FAA inspector did not arrive on time. Too bad you can’t charge the FAA for all the lost time and money..

  • David Telford

    “You Keystone Kops held up the test. That has a cost. This is the bill.” No, I don’t suppose that will work.

    What’s next, “I slept in”?

  • Doubting Thomas

    “That’s a nice space program you got there Elon, it would be a shame if something happened to it.”

    Monumental incompetence on someone’s part.


    And an FAA inspector needs to be there, why? Maybe he didn’t have his mask for the plane trip.

  • Trent Castanaveras

    The requirement that an official of the FAA be on site is a very recent thing, added after SN 10 flew. May be part of the ongoing response to SN8 flying without “permission”.

    In any case, more useless bureaucratic nonsense. As if, in this pervasively digital world of instant imagery and video, and real-time data streams, anyone ever needed to physically be anywhere. What century are we in? lol

  • Trent Castanaveras

    Christian Davenport describes it succinctly on twitter:

  • mkent

    Trent: Correct. SpaceX exceeded the blast overpressure limits on the SN8 flight. They had applied for a waiver, were denied, but flew anyway. SpaceX claimed it was a miscommunication, not an intentional violation. Anyone else would have been shut down for a month while the FAA investigated, but since it was SpaceX, the FAA instead sent an official on-site for test flights so there wouldn’t be any more miscommunications. Far from an example of the FAA trying to shut SpaceX down, it’s actually an example of how SpaceX gets treated better than most companies.

    In this case SpaceX had told the official on Friday that they would not fly on Monday, so the official flew home for the weekend. SpaceX changed their mind over the weekend and then publicly criticized the FAA when the official couldn’t drop everything and book a flight Sunday night to be there Monday morning.

    Now that SN11 has exploded and rained debris down on Boca Chica Village and South Padre Island, expect the limits to be tightened even more. Anyone else would be shut down while the FAA investigated, but since it’s SpaceX, who knows?

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *