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Starship/Superheavy test launch delayed to November 18, 2023

SpaceX has pushed back the orbital test launch of its Starship/Superheavy rocket one day, to November 18, 2023, because one of the rocket’s grid fins was not working properly during a prelaunch test.

The new launch window opens at 7 am (Central), but is now only twenty minutes long. SpaceX says it will begin its live stream on X and here 35 minutes before liftoff.

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On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • GeorgeC

    Sat morning, I think I can deal with that!

  • John

    Yes, Saturday is better for me too. Thank you.

  • John

    I wonder what drives the launch window for partial orbits? The Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean will be there in position the whole day.

  • Robert Pratt

    John, my thoughts exactly!!!

  • I suspect the shortened launch window has mostly to do with range and airways conflicts.

  • And what of warnings for ships and aircraft in the Starship landing area in the North Pacific? Outside FAA’s jurisdiction I assume? In any case I’d expect SpaceX to be pro-active on that one given the downsides (“Starship Crashes on Oil Tanker!”

    Also, isn’t the graphic of the flight plan on the other Starship Test #2 a little out of date given the new Hot Sep procedure, or does that not work graphically?

  • Tom Hunter: Yes, I am sure that flight plan is out of date, but it was what I had at the moment. If you or anyone spots one more up-to-date, please comment here.

    I should say that the differences should not be significant, based on what I’ve read.

  • Robert, there is a new graphic with the hot-staging over at under IFT-2.

  • Mark

    My only problem with an 8AM EST is launch is that by the time SS hopefully splashes down in once piece off of Hawaii, it will be very dark and it would be nice to have some video of how the heat shield etc. held up after re-entry. An 11AM or later launch would solve this problem. In other news, Sx found issues with 2 other actuators making 3 that had to be replaced so far. Fingers crossed for a successful test flight.

  • Questioner

    Grid Fin Actuator Replaced on Booster 9. Starship is Ready for Flight! | SpaceX Boca Chica

  • Tom

    Is it not amazing that SpaceX can decouple a HUGE, fully stacked orbital class rocket as it sits on a launch pad, replace a large critical component and then re-assemble the ship, test it and have it ready for launch …. all within 24 hours. This level of agility, and the obvious array of capabilities born from it, could never be the result of a modern-era, Government-run program regardless of the amount of money thrown at it. This is Capitalism on parade for the world to see; Capitalism used to realize great big dream.

  • pzatchok


    Space X runs on a real budget with the goal of saving money and not keeping jobs like NASA does.
    Granted in many cases this could and often does lead to dangerous situations but Space X seems to be doing a good job at on the job safety.

    It also looks like they take the advice to the guys who actually do the physical work instead of always sending their ideas upstairs to engineers who in the end take the credit.

  • SpaceX is building a working freight/passenger spaceline. Their equipment can’t require science-project kid-glove treatment if that is going to succeed – and it appears they fully understand that.

    It’s the difference between Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Emmett L. Brown.

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