SpaceX’s massive new rocket was launched on Thursday. However, it exploded on its first test flight just minutes after leaving the launch pad and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.
The uncrewed spacecraft blasted off from the launch pad for what was supposed to be a 90-minute trip around the Earth before a splashdown close to Hawaii, according to Space X. It carried no people or satellites.
After launch, the booster was supposed to separate from the spacecraft, but that did not happen as planned. Four minutes into the flight, the rocket started to tumble and suddenly burst into flames, shooting straight into the gulf. The spacecraft was designed to separate, travel east afterwards, make an attempt to round the Earth, and then plunge into the Pacific Ocean not far from Hawaii.
“Starship just experienced what we call a rapid, unscheduled disassembly,” said John Insprucker, SpaceX’s principal integration engineer. “As we said, excitement was guaranteed.”
“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn,” the statement said by the company in a tweet. “Today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary.”
SpaceX says it anticipated the debris to have landed in the Gulf of Mexico and will cooperate with regional authorities to conduct recovery efforts. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, said the crew would attempt to test the rocket again in a few months.
The firm will use Starship to transport passengers and cargo to the moon and, eventually, Mars.
The next moonwalking expedition from NASA has a Starship reserved, and wealthy tourists have already started scheduling flybys of the moon. The launch attempt was the second. Booster valve freezing ruined Monday’s attempt. Starship far outperforms NASA’s moon rockets, past, present, and future, with a height of 394 feet and a thrust of around 17 million pounds.
Similar to what SpaceX’s smaller Falcon rockets have accomplished flying from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the stainless steel rocket is built to be reusable with quick turnaround, drastically cutting costs. Nothing from the test flight was to be kept. During testing a few years ago, the future spacecraft sailed several miles into the air and only made one successful landing. However, this was to be the first launch of the first-stage booster’s 33 engines powered by methane.