Elon Musk’s SpaceX could finally be set to launch the latest test of its Starship rocket – the machine which could one day take humans to Mars – on March 3. The highly anticipated launch was cleared to take off on March 1 as residents of Boca Chica, where the launches take place, had been given the standard evacuation notice.
However, the evacuation notice was scrapped within three hours of being issued, and has now been re-scheduled for March 3.
SpaceX has not given any indication as to what time the launch will be, although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued timings in which it will be allowed to launch.
The FAA has said Starship SN10 is allowed to launch between 2pm on March 3 and 12:30am GMT on March 4.
If the launch does not go ahead, SpaceX also has Thursday, March 4, and Friday, March 5, at the same times to lift off.
Teslarati, which reports on all things Elon Musk, said: “TFRs (temporary flight restrictions) show that two earlier launch windows on Monday and Tuesday (March 1st and 2nd) were cancelled, leaving only the Wednesday, March 3rd airspace closure request still open.
“Wednesday was then backed up with two alternate windows on Thursday and Friday not long after.”
A live stream of the Boca Chica testing facility, courtesy of Lab Padre, has been embedded on this page.
SpaceX has already launched two Starship prototypes, the SN8 and the SN9, but both launches ended in failure.
READ MORE: SpaceX Starship SN10 rocket photographed at Boca Chica launchpad
When the SN9 launched on February 2 following weeks of delays, it ended in disaster for the company.
The rocket successfully cruised at an altitude of 10 kilometres. But as SN9 approached the landing pad, one of its engines failed to ignite and the rocket struggled to control its speed.
Once it hit the ground, the spacecraft exploded into a huge ball of flames.
The SN9’s predecessor, the SN8, suffered a similar fate on its attempted land in December.
To counter the very real threat of explosion on landing, SpaceX will fire up three rockets on the SN10 as it descends.
This will give it more control and slow down the speed of the rocket as it approaches the ground.
How many Starship prototypes there will be is unknown, but Mr Musk and co. need to get everything perfect if they are to ever get humans to Mars.
Mr Musk has previously said he is “highly confident” his SpaceX can get humans to Mars by 2026.