SpaceX’s Starship successfully enters outer space but unfortunately explodes shortly after.
On Saturday, SpaceX’s unmanned Starship spacecraft, designed to transport astronauts to the moon and beyond, successfully launched into space but unfortunately experienced failure shortly after.
This was the second test for Starship, following an explosion earlier this year during its initial attempt to reach space.
The two-part spacecraft launched from the Starbase launch site in Texas, owned by Elon Musk’s company. The launch site is located near Boca Chica, east of Brownsville. The journey was scheduled to be a 90-minute unmanned flight into outer space.
If the rocket is successful, it would have landed in the Pacific Ocean close to Hawaii. The company aspires for the rocket to eventually complete a journey around the Earth in an hour and a half.
However, approximately two and a half minutes after liftoff, the two sections of the spacecraft separated. SpaceX quickly stated that they were unable to detect a signal from the second stage, classifying it as “lost”.
The company suspects that the rocket’s self-destruct system was triggered due to signal loss.
The second flight of SpaceX shows improvement from its initial test launch in April, which ended in the explosion of both stages just four minutes after liftoff. The first stage, known as “Super Heavy” due to its 33 engines, experienced a malfunction that led to the explosion of both stages.
On this occasion, the 33 engines of Super Heavy were able to successfully lift both itself and the second stage, known as Starship, into space. Starship successfully detached from Super Heavy as intended, but the rocket’s auto-shutdown system was triggered, resulting in an explosion.
According to John Insprucker, a SpaceX engineer, it seems that the automated flight termination system was activated at a late stage during the burn while the rocket was over the Gulf of Mexico. This was mentioned during a live broadcast by the company.
Insprucker did not disclose the potential cause of the activation of the termination system.
On X, the online networking site previously known as Twitter and currently owned by Musk, SpaceX announced that it encountered an explosion, which the company calls a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”.
The company stated that with this test, success is achieved through our learnings. Today’s test will aid in enhancing the reliability of Starship as SpaceX strives to make life possible on multiple planets.
The FAA halted the rocket’s operations while conducting a safety and environmental assessment, but ultimately approved its launch this week. The company received backlash for the debris it scattered over Texas during its initial launch and explosion.
The corporation holds a $4 billion agreement with the American space agency, NASA. The agency is optimistic that this collaboration will lead to the first successful trip to the moon in over 50 years. Musk has bigger plans for the company’s rockets, expressing his desire to send humans to Mars in the future using reusable rockets.
Musk has proposed using a rocket for commercial transportation, potentially providing a one-hour flight from London to Tokyo.
Musk has emphasized the significance of testing, even if it leads to explosions, in order for the company to enhance its spacecraft. A representative from Nasa recently proposed that the company will require a minimum of “high teens” launches before the craft is ready for the lunar landing mission.