March 23, 2021
The window for SpaceX’s Starship SN11 test flight has shifted to the right in two days, and the launch from Boca Chica, Texas is now expected no earlier than (NET) Friday, March 26th.A local flight attempt closed for Wednesday, March 24, was canceled, according to the Cameron County website for SpaceX notifications.
Additional temporary flight restrictions (TFR) and notices to airmen (NOTAM) were submitted to accommodate the planned windows on Friday and Saturday, bringing the high-altitude flight back from what was considered possible earlier in the week as early as Wednesday, March 24. It is expected the associated road closures will follow their example, together with the possible withdrawal of the temporary flight restriction and the notification of the pilot.
The weather may affect these changes, for it is now a stormy spring time in this part of the country; poor visibility and rain are expected in the coming days.
Although Starship’s flight has been delayed and on hold, work continues intensively at SpaceX’s Boca Chica construction site. Amplifier no. 1 (BN1), the Super Heavy amplifier tracker that will one day carry Starships into orbit, is separated from the huge “tankzilla” crawler crane, and Starship SN15 goes through mysterious stacking procedures. There are now two different nose cones (with visible flaps) near the production tent, which could represent SN15. Community speculation is that the one without the tip, which is currently stacked on parts of the pipe, is a kind of seeker; the newly visible nasal cone can then become the actual part used.
Production continues with a permanent clip, and more information will be shared as soon as they become available for these future test articles and Starship SN11 flight. In the meantime, enjoy the return when SN9 and SN10 shared time together on the launch pad.
Tagged: Bottle Chica leading story SpaceX Starship Starship SN11
Nicholas D’Alessandro was born and raised in southwest Florida. The seeds of his interest in space exploration were planted when the sound boom of the Shuttle after re-entry echoed through his childhood home, even across the state; the knowledge that a real-life spacecraft was passing overhead and that it could have such an effect was fascinating to him. A high school trip to the Kennedy Space Center solidified that fascination, and with additional interest in the bloody edge of automotive technology and Tesla, the story of Elon Musk’s journey to Cape Canaveral with SpaceX finally led Nicholas to move to Space Coast and, after joined Spaceflight Insider in 2020, starting to document the dawn of commercial space flights.