Elon Musk's company was targeting Friday morning to launch Starship and the Super Heavy booster, a 400-foot-tall fully reusable launch vehicle. However, Musk said on X, formerly Twitter, additional work was needed on Starship and the flight will happen Saturday.
"We need to replace a grid fin actuator, so launch is postponed to Saturday," Musk wrote.
The 2-hour test window opens at 7 a.m. CT. SpaceX also has an additional launch opportunity on Sunday morning, according to a road closure notice for Highway 4 in Cameron County, Texas.
Starship and Super Heavy booster testing and development is underway at SpaceX's Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
This launch will mark SpaceX's second attempt to reach orbit with Starship.
A test flight in April ended with an epic explosion over the Gulf of Mexico when SpaceX attempted to launch Starship for the first time. Previous test "hops" were completed in Texas – some also explosive – before SpaceX tried to launch the spaceship and booster together.
What to expect during the second Starship test flight
If the test flight goes as planned, Starship will launch from Texas, separate from the Super Heavy booster, fly around the Earth and land in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii about 1.5 hours after liftoff.
SpaceX said residents in Cameron County may hear a "loud noise" from the rocket's 33 Raptor engines firing on Friday, but "what people experience will depend on weather and other conditions."
The booster will land in the Gulf of Mexico about 7 minutes post-launch.
SpaceXs Starship rocket sits on the launchpad at Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas on November 15, 2023 ahead of its scheduled second test flight. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Both parts of the launch system are designed to turn from horizontal to upright before making a controlled water landing.
Musk recently said he thinks Starship has a "decent chance of reaching orbit" this time.
FAA grants launch license after changes
NASA has tapped SpaceX's Starship flight system to land the Artemis astronauts on the Moon in 2025, but many test flights are needed before Starship flies people. Since the first test flight, SpaceX has made significant changes to Starship, the launch tower and the launchpad system.
Musk previously said SpaceX was targeting Nov. 17 for launch but was awaiting the launch license from the FAA.
In September, the FAA closed the Starship Super Heavy mishap investigation from the first test flight. However, closing the inquiry didn't automatically mean Starship could resume launching from Texas. SpaceX needed to implement corrective actions for the FAA to issue a license modification for the next launch attempt.
On Thursday, the FAA, the U.S. agency responsible for regulating commercial spaceflight, said in a statement SpaceX has the launch license for another Starship flight.
"The FAA has given license authorization for the second launch of the SpaceX Starship Super Heavy vehicle," the FAA said. "The FAA determined SpaceX met all safety, environmental, policy and financial responsibility requirements."
SpaceX plans to air the test fight live on its website and on X.