SpaceX is making final preparations to send Starship into orbit, which will be only the second test flight of the 400-foot-tall rocket.
The company originally expected to launch on Friday but some additional work had to be done which led to a 24-hour delay.
The unmanned test flight of Starship, consisting of the Super Heavy booster and the Starship spacecraft, is now scheduled to begin Saturday from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
The two-hour window for the launch opens at 7 a.m. local time (8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT).
Calm conditions are required for the launch and the current forecast suggests everything will go well. Scattered clouds and light winds are expected, meaning mission operators can focus their full attention on launch procedures.
The forecast is also good news for people watching the spectacle in person or online via live stream, as they will get a clear view of the most powerful rocket ever seen as it climbs skyward.
The Super Heavy first stage rocket will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico shortly after launch, but the Starship spacecraft must continue in orbit before splashing down off the coast of Hawaii. If everything goes according to plan, the entire mission will last about two hours.
Starship’s first test flight took place in April but ended in failure. The rocket cleared the launchpad but an anomaly occurred minutes after launch that prompted the mission team to destroy the vehicle in mid-air.
This time, SpaceX will be eager to see the spacecraft reach orbit for the first time, which is a key step in its development process if the vehicle is ever used for crewed missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
With fine weather conditions, the team is now hoping to avoid any technical issues that could delay the launch. If you’re thinking of watching a rocket explode, be sure to check it out SpaceX’s social feed For latest mission status.