SpaceX delays Starship test flight a day over hardware swap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -SpaceX has postponed its second attempt to launch the company’s Starship rocket system into space by a day to Saturday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said, citing a piece of flight control hardware that needed replacing.

“We need to replace a grid fin actuator, so launch is postponed to Saturday,” Musk wrote on social media platform X on Thursday.

The launch is scheduled to take place within a 20-minute window opening at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) at the company’s Starbase site on the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX is aiming to make a second attempt at launching its 400-foot-tall (122 meters) Starship rocket system into space. During its first try in April, the rocket exploded roughly four minutes after lifting off from Texas.

Company officials have said the rocket has been ready to fly for months, pending approval of a license by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which the company obtained on Wednesday.

The scheduled flight is one of many crucial tests in SpaceX’s development campaign to build a fully reusable rocket capable of sending some 150 tons of satellites into space, as well as humans to the moon and eventually Mars.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Will Dunham)

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