SpaceX flight aborted after homeowners asked to vacate

SpaceX’s last test of its Starhopper space craft was aborted less than one second before takeoff after a wiring issue in a rocket engine ignitor was detected, Business Insider reports.

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According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the flight was intended to launch at 5 p.m. local time on Monday for a test where the vehicle would hover at roughly 500 feet above the ground.

The scheduled Starhopper test caused disruption in a small Texas community when police warned residents to temporarily vacate their homes, citing risks to public health and safety in the event of a catastrophic vehicle malfunction.

“I feel very angry. I feel like we are in a war zone running out of our houses so they don’t collapse on us,” Texas resident Celia Johnson told Business Insider.

The Starhopper space craft is, according to Space.com, “a squat, reusable prototype for SpaceX’s planned Starship vehicle.” The Starship is SpaceX’s long-term answer to interplanetary travel, lunar missions, satellite delivery and International Space Station cargo deliveries. When coupled with the Super Heavy Rocket, Starship will be fully reusable while having a larger payload capacity than the Saturn V rocket used by NASA to take the Apollo program to the moon.

An invaluable proving ground for SpaceX’s advanced technology, according to Musk, the test has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

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