Elon Musk says he's embarrassed after a simple electrical fault scuppered his latest SpaceX launch


Elon Musk

  • SpaceX’s prototype rocket Starhopper aborted its test flight on Monday with less than a second left on the countdown.
  • CEO Elon Musk tweeted that there had been a wiring problem with the engine’s igniters, and the flight would take place on Tuesday instead.
  • Responding to a tweet from a tech blogger, Musk said the mistake was “embarrassing.”
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Elon Musk tweeted that he was embarrassed by the aborted flight attempt by Starhopper, the experimental rocket ship it’s using as a prototype for its Mars-bound vehicle Starship.

Starhopper was supposed to embark on a flight 150 meters (492 feet) into the air before landing back on its launchpad in South Texas on Monday.

However, the flight was aborted with less than one second left before takeoff. Musk tweeted that the igniters which spark the rocket’s engine had a wiring issue, and the rocket would try taking off again on Tuesday.

Read more: Police sent explosion warnings to residents near SpaceX’s South Texas launch site ahead of an experimental rocket flight

Following this, tech blogger Pranay Pathole it was odd that “relatively simple circuits” like the igniters could be miswired. “Very strange that there are no sensors that could check on whether the igniters were working,” the Pathole added. Musk replied: “Yes, rather embarrassing tbh [to be honest].”

Starhopper stands about 60-feet tall, and has been affectionately dubbed a “water tower” by Musk because of its stubby appearance. It completed its first untethered flight test in July, when it flew for roughly ten seconds. This next test flight will be its last, according to Musk, and Starhopper will be stripped and its parts re-used for future projects.

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Starhopper is a stepping stone for SpaceX to test out its technology so that it can one day build its Starship rocket, which Musk has said will be able to transport 100 people and 150 tons of cargo to Mars.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk’s SpaceX is developing giant Mars rockets in a sleepy town in southern Texas. Here’s what it’s like to visit.

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