WHY Elon Musk's SpaceX postpones Starship and what will happen next?

Onur Demirkol
Apr 17, 2023
Updated • Apr 18, 2023

Elon Musk's SpaceX was to launch the largest rocket, Starship, but the company had to postpone it by 48 hours due to a technical issue, just before there were 40 seconds left on the countdown. Why did SpaceX postpone the launch, and what will happen next? Here is everything you need to know!

SpaceX has been developing rockets for a while now, but the recent project is truly mind-blowing, a 394 ft. rocket with a payload of 150 tons, bigger and heavier than Saturn V, another large rocket used in Apollo 11 missions. Besides, it is totally reusable, which is an important feature SpaceX prioritizes.

The schedule was set, and the calendar showed April 17 for the launch. Starship was moved to SpaceX's launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas. Today, the engineers took their places to launch the biggest rocket but encountered an issue.

Normally, Starship's launch involves two stages. First is its Super Heavy booster, which is powered by 33 engines and uses a mix of liquid oxygen and Methane, generating 17 million pounds of thrust. Secondly, the top half of Starship was going to be separated and fire its six raptor engines. Unfortunately, none of these happened today.

SpaceX postpones starship
SpaceX Starship

Related: Countdown to SpaceX Starship launch has begun

Why did SpaceX postpone the launch?

Right before the launch, engineers began fueling Starship. However, they noticed something was off and tried to overcome the issue to meet the deadline. According to officials, Starship faced a pressurization issue, which made it impossible to launch.

"The clock is coming up on T minus 17 minutes on lift off. The first stage team is dealing with a pressurisation issue. We do have the capability of holding the count and treating today as a wet dress." said John Insprucker, SpaceX's principal engineer.

While the engineers were dealing with the issue, people kept on waiting and watching the live stream to get an update. Finally, SpaceX decided to postpone its first test mission, Insprucker announced during the live stream. 

"A pressurant valve appears to be frozen, so unless it starts operating soon, no launch today," Elon Musk added about the technical issue.

SpaceX postpones starship
SpaceX Starship

What's next?

Just because it failed to launch its rocket today, it doesn't mean that SpaceX will give up on all the investments and time spent on this giant. SpaceX announced that the launch has been postponed for at least 48 hours. Until then, engineers will try their best to solve the matter.

There is also a possibility that the engineers might not get it done in 48 hours, and that's why the announcement says "at least" 48 hours. Musk said "in a few days" in his tweet, which means that the issue might take more than just two days.

For now, SpaceX hasn't made any following announcements about the issue. We will need to wait 48 hours and see if the engineers will be able to solve the matter, and Starship will be ready to take off.

Besides, SpaceX's initial Starship tests have all ended in massive explosions. Musk recently said he hopes that this time Starship will reach the orbit and "don't blow up the launch pad."


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  1. Minkey said on April 19, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    I love how ghacks has turned into personal blogsites for a few writers. Sports, aliens, space news…who needs MSM? If a writer is personally interested in something, you can read about it on ghacks! Yayyyyy!

  2. Michael said on April 18, 2023 at 8:50 am

    Source: The company and the known liar Elon.
    Great news!

    1. Anonymous said on April 19, 2023 at 2:46 am

      Jealous much

      1. Anonymous said on April 19, 2023 at 10:10 am

        Uh oh, Musk fanboy got triggered.

  3. Jody Thornton said on April 18, 2023 at 5:00 am

    Elon has more important things to worry about, like whose face they are putting on beer cans.

  4. Tom Hawack said on April 17, 2023 at 5:39 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “SpaceX has been developing rockets for a while now, but the recent project is truly mind-blowing, a 394 ft. rocket with a payload of 150 tons, bigger and heavier than Saturn V, another large rocket of the company.”

    Saturn V is in no way another large rocket “of the company” [SpaceX]
    As Wikipedia states it [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_V] :

    “Saturn V is a retired American super heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by NASA under the Apollo program for human exploration of the Moon.”

    July 1969, I was there (in time, not space!), Saturn V launching Apollo 11 (all Apollo missions in fact) and bringing a man to the Moon. That was indeed “another large rocket” but at the time SpaceX wasn’t even a sparkle in Musk (born 1971) parents’ eyes :=)

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