SpaceX scrubbed plans for its first test launch of its gargantuan methane-powered Super Heavy/Starship rocket Monday at the company’s sprawling test facility at Boca Chica on the Texas Gulf Coast, pausing the countdown for at least 48 hours after issues arose.

After the Federal Aviation Administration granted it a license on Friday,  SpaceX immediately tweeted that it was “targeting Monday, April 17, for the first flight test of a fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket from Starbase in Texas.”

The Super Heavy/Starship, known collectively simply as “Starship,” is the largest, most powerful rocket ever built, standing 394 feet high and measuring 29.5 feet wide. It is capable of generating a staggering 16.7 million pounds of thrust at liftoff from its 33 SpaceX-designed Raptor engines, twice the power of NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket.

The Super Heavy first stage alone stands 23 stories tall, while the Starship upper stage, designed to carry cargo, passengers or both, towers another 164 feet and is equipped with six Raptor engines.

The test flight, when it happens, it will mark a major milestone for SpaceX — which views the Starship as the key to the company’s future — and for NASA, which is paying SpaceX billions to develop a variant of the Starship to carry astronauts to the surface of the moon in the agency’s Artemis program.

–William Harwood contributed reporting.

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