SpaceX calls off first launch attempt of giant new rocket

FILE - a SpaceX logo is displayed on a building on May 26, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
FILE - a SpaceX logo is displayed on a building on May 26, 2020, at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews with AP
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Monday's launch attempt was called off due to a stuck valve in the first-stage booster but there could be another try later this week from South Texas.

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SpaceX called off the first launch attempt of its giant rocket Monday after a problem cropped up during fueling,

Elon Musk's company had planned to fly the nearly 400-foot Starship rocket from the southern tip of Texas, near the Mexican border.

The countdown was halted at the 40-second mark because of a stuck valve in the first-stage booster. Launch controllers couldn’t fix the frozen valve in time, and cancelled the attempt. The countdown continued and fueling was completed, as a dress rehearsal.

No people or satellites were aboard. There won’t be another try until at least Wednesday.

The company plans to use Starship to send people and cargo to the moon and ultimately Mars.

On the eve of the launch attempt, cars, campers, RVs, bicycles and even horses jammed the only road leading to the launch pad, where the stainless steel rocket towered above the flat scrubland and prairie.

 Enthusiasts posed in front of the giant letters that spelled out "Starbase" at the entrance of the SpaceX complex and in front of the rocket two miles farther down the road, which ended at the gulf.

On Monday, spectators were barred from the area and instead packed a beach on South Padre Island.

Ernesto and Maria Carreon drove two hours from Mission, Texas, with their two daughters, 5 and 7, to watch.

“I got sad. They got sad,” Maria Carreon said when the launch was cancelled. The family cannot return for the next try but planned to have fun on the beach Monday.

Michelle Vancampenhout, on vacation from Green Bay, Wisconsin, said she would be back.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see it,” she said.

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