It has been seven months since the first launch attempt. SpaceX was ready on a technical basis since early September. The delay since September is due to reviews by regulatory agencies (Federal Aviation Administration and United States Fish and Wildlife Service) with regards to failure analysis and mitigation of the last flight and upgrades for the next attempt.
Major Changes for the Second Integrated Test Flight:
For stage separation on the first attempt, SpaceX wanted to perform an elaborate flip maneuver to flip the upper stage off the booster stage. The major change is the addition of a vented hot staging section which allows the upper stage to light engines while still attached to the booster. That way it will be assured that the upper stage has enough thrust before separation.
Hot-staging animation by RyanHansenSpace
NASASpaceflight with a detailed look at hot-staging: Starship's Hottest Upgrade: Hot Staging!
Positive impact: no complicated flip maneuver and assured separation.
Negative impact: exhaust gases impinging on the booster stage, which may hamper reuse.
The pad foundations were dug up by the pressure and heat of the exhaust gases, which resulted in a storm of large chunks of concrete flying everywhere and causing damage.
The foundation is now protected by a water-cooled steel plate that will push water up against the exhaust gases to keep heat away from the foundation.
Electronic Thrust Vector Control
Thrust vectoring was controlled by a hydraulic system which increasingly failed during launch. This time it will be facilitated by electric actuators. The hydraulic system was already a legacy version at the first launch. It was already implemented in the next booster version.
Flight Termination System
The rocket lost steering and thrust during the first launch and needed to be remotely destroyed. Turns out the explosive charges were not powerful enough to end the mission. The rocket kept flying for 40 seconds after charges were triggered.
|Payload capacity (fully reusable):||100 – 150t|
|Super Heavy Booster Rocket|
What is a Successful Test?
Many close observers would consider it a significant step up if the pad holds up and the stages separate cleanly.
- SpaceX Livestream
- SpaceX Stream on Twitter @SpaceX
- Tim Dodd: [4K] Watch SpaceX launch Starship, the biggest rocket ever, LIVE up close and personal!
- NASASpaceflight: SpaceX Launches Second Starship Flight Test
- What about it: [4K] Watch SpaceX Launch The Largest Rocket Ever Built LIVE - IFT 2
- Ellie in Space: Starship launch LIVE
- Angry Astronaut: Starships 2ND Launch LIVE!!!!
- The Launch Pad: LIVE! SpaceX Starship IFT-2 Countdown
- LabPadre Space: SpaceX Finalizing Starship Super Heavy For IFT2
Marcus House: SpaceX Starbase and Stage Zero! How close are we to Starship Orbital Flight Test? – 23.11.2021
Marcus House looks into what can happen when the stack explodes during launch:
SpaceX Starship Explosive Potential, and Big Bang Theory
Tim Dodd was lucky enough to get two guided tours around Starbase by Elon Musk:
-  Elon Musk Explains Updates To Starship And Starbase!
- Go up SpaceX's Starship-catching robotic launch tower with Elon Musk!
- Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Merlin Engine!
- Elon Musk Explains SpaceX's Raptor Engine!
- [Starbase Tour with Elon Musk PART 1 // Summer 2021
- Starbase Tour with Elon Musk [PART 2 // Summer 2021]
- Starbase Launchpad Tour with Elon Musk [PART 3 // Summer 2021]
SpaceX: Starship | SN10 | High-Altitude Flight Test – 04.03.21
SpaceX: Starship | SN10 | High-Altitude Flight Recap
Tim Dodd: Starship SN10 [4k, Clean Audio & Slow Mo Supercut]
Scott Manley recapping what changes happened in previous iterations until the successful SN-15 launch: SpaceX's Starship Prototype Takes To The Skies And Returns Safely
SpaceX: Starship | SN15 | High-Altitude Flight Test – 06.05.22
SpaceX: Starship | SN15 | Flight Test Recap
Cosmic Perspective: Valhalla: Starship Explosion Footage SN8-SN11 - 4K
StarshipGazer.com: Useful Starship links
Background information about previous SpaceX launches: Wikipedia
FAA: SpaceX Starship Super Heavy Project at the Boca Chica Launch Site
FAA: Licensed Launches
Starship OFT flight plan
The Launch Pad Network: tlpnetwork.com