The latest SpaceX test of its Starship SN11, which is being designed for an eventual trip to Mars, was postponed Monday due to “issues with the Federal Aviation Administration,” The Independent reported.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Tweeted that an “FAA inspector unable to reach Starbase in time for launch today.”
The launch from SpaceX’s facility in Boca Chica, Tex., will be able to continue as planned on Tuesday, Musk tweeted.
SpaceX, the private company owned by Elon Musk, has seen several challenges in testing its Starship prototypes ahead of an ultimate launch and trip to Mars.
Monday’s delay came as the FAA is facing congressional scrutiny of its oversight of SpaceX, whose last three tests of its Starship have ended in explosions.
Monday’s test was already delayed on Friday due to technical issues with the Starship SN11. Overall, the test entails a “10km launch and landing,” the Independent said.
The SN8 and SN9 tests exploded while attempting to land, while the SN10 successfully touched down, but exploded about eight minutes later.
The Hawthorne, Calif., space exploration company plans to launch its “165-foot-tall (50 meters) Starship spacecraft into orbit” with a “massive heavy-lift booster called Super Heavy,” Space.com reported. The component is still currently under development.
The Starship’s “first ever orbital flight” with the booster could take place as early as July, with SpaceX aiming to begin production by 2022 at the latest, The Independent added.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maewa has already scheduled to be among the first to take a commercial flight around the moon in the Starship in 2023, along with eight members of the public.
The ultimate goal is to launch an un-crewed mission to Mars in 2024 a crewed mission to the planet in 2026.
SpaceX currently uses its well established Falcon rockets to provide launch services to NASA and to put hundreds of communication satellites in low-earth orbit for its proprietary Starlink broadband service.