Video: Sights and sounds from Starbase on eve of Starship launch attempt

We captured the sights and sounds of SpaceX’s Starbase launch complex in Texas on the eve of the first launch attempt for the fully-stacked Super Heavy booster and Starship rocket on a test flight aiming for near orbital velocity.

The 394-foot-tall (120-meter) rocket is standing on a launch mount at Starbase awaiting a launch attempt as soon as 8 a.m. CDT (9 a.m. EDT; 1300 UTC) Monday, April 17.. These videos were captured on Sunday, April 16, at the Starbase facility on the Texas Gulf Coast east of Brownsville.

Hundreds of space enthusiasts, SpaceX fans, local residents, tourists, and news media roamed the roadway adjacent to the Starship launch complex Saturday. They also ventured into sand dunes for imagery of the rocket highlighting the natural setting of SpaceX’s launch site.

When it lifts off, the Super Heavy booster and Starship rocket will combine to be the largest vehicle of their type to ever fly. SpaceX says the Super Heavy booster is 29.5 feet (9 meters) in diameter.

SpaceX calls the Super Heavy and Starship vehicles on the inaugural attempt to space Booster 7 and Ship 24.

The dry, or unfueled, mass of the Starship upper stage alone is more than 100 metric tons. The Super Heavy booster, positioned below the Starship in launch configuration, is about twice the weight of the upper stage.

On launch day, SpaceX plans to begin loading cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen propellants into the rocket around 1 hour and 39 minutes before the scheduled liftoff time. The fully loaded launch vehicle will weigh some 11 million pounds.

Thirty-three Raptor engines will power the rocket off the pad with 16.7 million pounds of thrust at full throttle, according to SpaceX. That’s more than twice the thrust of NASA’s Saturn 5 moon rocket, and well over the power generated by NASA’s Space Launch System rocket for the Artemis moon program.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.