SpaceX Starship Integrated Flight Test 2 has been delayed 24 hours to no earlier than Saturday, November 18th, with the 20-minute launch window opening at 7 AM CT (13:00 UTC).
Rumors began swirling earlier today as the equipment needed to destack Starship from atop Booster 9 arrived back at the launch site and was then confirmed by Elon Musk on X that they would need to remove Starship and the hot stage ring in order to replace a grid fin actuator.
We need to replace a grid fin actuator, so launch is postponed to Saturday
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 16, 2023
This will also give SpaceX a little more time to complete any other last-second launch flow procedures to ensure everything flows smoothly before the planned launch attempt.
SpaceX landed the crucial FAA license for the second Starship test flight on Wednesday.
If SpaceX is unable to launch on Saturday, they do have another opportunity on Sunday, but the weather starts coming into play on Sunday and Monday, and with Thanksgiving next week, that could also force a delay into the 27th and beyond. SpaceX is only allotted a few closures per year, and generally, around major holidays, they are unable to close the launch site.
All eyes will certainly be on Starbase early Saturday morning as the world’s most powerful rocket attempts its 2nd test flight.
SpaceX will be streaming the launch on their website and of course, on X. Be sure to tune in if you’re not in the area for the launch.