Another SpaceX test flight into space ended with the explosion of the Starship rocket
The second SpaceX test flight of the Starship spacecraft over the weekend also ended in an explosion after it blasted off from Texas on Saturday local time. Starship is a rocket and spacecraft that Elon Musk and his company SpaceX hope will one day transport humans from Earth to the moon and Mars.
The Starship took off using the Super Heavy launch system powered by 33 Raptor engines using liquid methane and liquid oxygen. However, just a few moments after the separation phase of the spacecraft from this system, one part of the rocket exploded. Nevertheless, the Starship continued to fly for several more minutes, surpassing the flight time of its predecessor.
A faint explosion was visible live about eight minutes after takeoff, but broadcasters soon confirmed they had lost contact with the aircraft.
Unlike the first test flight, which ended at a little more than 38 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, this time the Starship had crossed an altitude of almost 150 kilometers by the time of the explosion, which means that it had reached space.
This SpaceX test flight was also the first attempt at a launch using a technology called “hot staging”, in which the Starship’s engines are turned on before it even separates from the launch system.
Although it traveled more kilometers than its predecessor, not only the Starship exploded, but also a part of the Super Heavy system, when the rocket was already far away, writes Engadget. Musk claims that the system in excellent conditionand that it does not need renovation for the next launch.
The company will now have to find a new way for its rocket launcher to withstand future attempts at hot staging technology. Despite the explosions, Musk’s company still sees all of this as a success. He claims that based on such flights, they get a lot of data, which they will use in the future to improve the next flights.