Technical glitch halts Elon Musk’s liftoff of next-generation rocket

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SpaceX’s starship rocket is intended for Moon and Mars transport

Just moments before the scheduled launch, the liftoff of the world’s largest and next-generation rocket was cancelled.

Due to a technical problem, Elon Musk delayed the launch of the Starship rocket, the biggest in the world, by 48 hours. The launch was initially set for 2:20 PM UK time, but engineers stopped the countdown clock with just 40 seconds remaining before liftoff.

The rocket, which stands at 390ft and is intended to transport people to the Moon and Mars for NASA, will stay put on the launch pad located at SpaceX’s spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas.

According to a tweet from Musk, the issue was likely caused by a frozen “pressurant valve.” However, there may be another launch attempt later in the week.

The plan is to send the upper stage of the rocket in an easterly direction, with the aim of completing nearly one orbit around the Earth.

Back in February, SpaceX conducted a test of the booster by igniting 31 out of its 33 Raptor engines while the rocket was secured vertically on a platform for around 10 seconds.

Last Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration approved a license for the initial test flight of the completely assembled rocket system, which removes the final regulatory obstacle for the highly anticipated launch.

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