SpaceX targeting April 20 for next Starship launch attempt

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — SpaceX is targeting Thursday (April 20) for the second attempt to launch its giant Starship vehicle to space.

The 62-minute launch window opens Thursday at 9:28 a.m. EDT (1328 GMT), SpaceX wrote in an updated description of the highly anticipated test mission.

The flight will be the first ever for a fully stacked Starship, the giant vehicle that SpaceX is developing to take people and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond. The launch will occur from Starbase, SpaceX's facility here in South Texas.

Related: Starship and Super Heavy: SpaceX's deep-space transportation for the moon and Mars

SpaceX's Starship waits on its launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas in April 2023. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

SpaceX tried to launch the mission today (April 17) but scrubbed the try just under nine minutes before the planned liftoff due to an issue with the pressurization system on Starship's first stage, a huge booster called Super Heavy.

The plan for the coming flight calls for Super Heavy to make a hard splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico about eight minutes after liftoff. Starship's upper-stage spacecraft, meanwhile, will make a partial lap around Earth, coming down in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii around 90 minutes after launch.

SpaceX isn't necessarily expecting all of that to happen, however. This will be the debut spaceflight of a powerful and complex vehicle, so it wouldn't be surprising if something went wrong.

"With a test such as this, success is measured by how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship," SpaceX wrote in the mission description.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

  • GoodOlDan
    No surprise that the launch would get pushed to 4/20... Elon can't let an opportunity like that go to waste! Was there ever any doubt?
  • iMaxPlanck
    Hasn't this thing been rescheduled like 3x already?
  • Moonage
    iMaxPlanck said:
    Hasn't this thing been rescheduled like 3x already?

    No, it hasn't. Didn't get FAA approval until late last week.