Minutes into Saturday’s test flight, SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket exploded, taking the booster with it.
After blasting off from South Texas and making it into space, all contact was suddenly severed. It appears the ship blew itself up over the Gulf of Mexico, according to SpaceX authorities.
As the ship’s engines were finishing their round-the-world burn, the flight came to a conclusion. A similar explosion occurred during the first test flight in April.
The booster broke apart approximately three minutes into Saturday’s flight, and it exploded over the Gulf of Mexico. It had accomplished its goal by that point.
Although the flight was unsuccessful, it lasted for about twice as long as the test in April. At over 400 feet, Starship is the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built, with the purpose of ferrying people to the moon and Mars.
For SpaceX analyst John Insprucker, “the real topping on the cake today, that successful liftoff,” was the icing on the proverbial cake.
Kate Tice, providing commentary, remarked, “We got so much data, and that will all help us improve for the next flight.”
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, stood behind the launch controls in South Texas, not far from Boca Chica Beach and the Mexican border. Workers in Hawthorne, California, were ecstatic to see Starship take to the skies at dawn. As news of the spaceship’s destruction and subsequent plunge into the gulf spread, the room became silent. The booster was lost in the ocean as well.
About 90 minutes after launch, falling short of a full orbit, the bullet-shaped spacecraft ditched into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. SpaceX had aimed for an altitude of 150 miles.
Following April’s flight demo, SpaceX made dozens of upgrades to the rocket and its 33 engines as well as the launch pad. On Wednesday, after ensuring that all safety and environmental concerns had been satisfied, the Federal Aviation Administration gave the go-ahead for the rocket to take to the skies.