SpaceX test fires Starship SN11 rocket prototype again ahead of next launch

SpaceX test fired its latest Starship rocket prototype Friday morning (March 26) but did not attempt a launch from its fog-shrouded pad at the company’s Starbase facility in South Texas.

The Starship SN11 vehicle fired up its Raptor engines just after 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) ahead of what was expected to be a 6.2-mile (10 kilometers) launch later in the day. 

“Standing down SN11 until probably Monday,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter Friday. “Additional checkouts are needed. Doing our best to land & fully recover.”

Video: Watch SpaceX test-fire the Starship SN11 rocket prototype

SpaceX’s Starship SN11 rocket prototype is moved to its test stand at the company’s facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on March 8, 2021. (Image credit: Spadre.com via YouTube)

SpaceX’s Starship website announced the SN11 launch was possible on Friday, but did not give a specific time for the attempt. 

On Thursday, officials in Cameron County, which is home to SpaceX’s Starship test site near Boca Chica Village, announced road closures for most of Friday to accommodate SpaceX’s test flight.

“I have ordered the closer of Boca Chica Beach and Hwy 4 for the purpose of protecting Public Health and Safety during SpaceX engine testing and 10 km flight, in the time period between 7:00 a.m. C.S.T. to 7:30 p.m. C.S.T., of the same day,” Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr., said in a statement. “If members of the public would like to view the flight, please do so from a safe distance and away from Boca Chica Beach.”

By 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT), those road closures were lifted and it was clear no launch would occur. Foggy conditions persisted as SpaceX’s Starbase facility throughout the day, but it was unclear if the weather was why the company stood down from a launch try.

“Testing Concluded. Hwy 4