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SpaceX’s Starhopper launch scrubbed at the last possible second

Published Aug 27th, 2019 9:04PM EDT
starhopper launch
Image: spacex

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SpaceX was scheduled to launch its scaled-down Starship test vehicle, Starhopper, on Monday evening. Things were looking good right up until the moment the spacecraft was supposed to fire up its engines, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

It wasn’t immediately clear what went wrong, but the fact that the launch was called off after the countdown timer had reached T-0 suggested some kind of malfunction. Shortly after the scrub, SpaceX boss Elon Musk revealed the reason for the last-second abort, and admitted he’s a bit embarrassed that things didn’t work out.

In an admittedly vague tweet following the apparent misfire, Musk wrote “Igniters need to be inspected. We will try again tomorrow same time.”

That explanation didn’t satisfy many who were anticipating the launch, and Musk offered some additional details in replies to eager fans. In one tweet, Musk noted that the launch was called off due to what “appears to be a wiring/connector issue.” In another reply asking how something as simple as an ignitor could be wired incorrectly, Musk admitted that the entire thing was “rather embarrassing tbh.”

In any case, the issue would appear to be easy to correct, and Musk seemed confident that things will be in working order for a retry on Tuesday evening at the same time. SpaceX hasn’t tweeted out any new information, but we’ll work under the assumption that the second attempt will take place at around 6:00 p.m. EST.

SpaceX did provide a live stream of the Starhopper launch attempt on Monday night, so we’ll assume the same will be true for the launch attempt this evening. Expect the stream to go live roughly ten minutes before the scheduled launch.