The SpaceX Starhopper vehicle is seen venting on Monday. [credit: Trevor Mahlmann for Ars Technica ]
A day after SpaceX's first attempt to launch the Starhopper test vehicle to an altitude of 150 meters, the company plans to try again as early at 5pm ET Tuesday (21:00 UTC).
The company went all the way through the countdown on Monday before the test vehicle's single methane-burning Raptor rocket engine failed to ignite. The fault lay with a wiring or other connector issue within the engine's igniter, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said on Twitter.
The Raptor engine uses a new kind of igniter to start the combustion process between oxidizer and methane propellants, which Musk characterized as "dual redundant torch igniters." This ignition process will be more reliable in the future, he said, but it has proven "finicky" during development.