Spacex’s Massive Starship Rocket Explodes After Launch During Maiden Flight

Spacex’s Massive Starship Rocket Explodes After Launch During Maiden Flight

LOS ANGELES, April 21 (Bernama-Xinhua) — SpaceX’s giant Starship rocket, the most powerful ever built, exploded after liftoff from the US state of Texas during aninaugural test fl ight on Thursday morning.

The rocket got off the launch pad in SpaceX’s Starbase in Boca Chica, South Texas, but exploded minutes later. The spacecraft failed to reach orbit, reported Xinhua. The uncrewed spacecraft was scheduled to have a 90-minute trip around the Earth before a splashdown near Hawaii.

Starship was fully loaded with more than 4500 metric tons (10 million pounds) of propellant before the launch, according to SpaceX. The launch was the fi rst test fl ight of SpaceX’s fully integrated Starship and Super Heavy rocket.

Starship experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” before stage separation, according to SpaceX. “Today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary,” the company tweeted.

Teams will continue to review data and work toward the next fl ight test, said SpaceX.

“Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months,” Elon Musk, founder, CEO and chief engineer of SpaceX, said on Twitter. He monitored the launch from the SpaceXcontrol centre in Boca Chica.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that the launch of SpaceX’s Starship rocket is “a good fi rst step.”

“It looks like they got through the fi rst stage of this big monster rocket. That’s a real accomplishment. We’ll get a report on what happened to the second stage, butI’m very encouraged that they’ve gotten along this far,” Nelson told CNN.

SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket, collectively referred to as Starship, represent a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry bothcrew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes fully reusable and 250 metric tonnes, accordingto SpaceX.

To date, the SpaceX team has completed multiple sub-orbital fl ight tests of Starship’s upper stage from Starbase, and also conducted numerous tests of the SuperHeavy rocket, which include the increasingly complex static fi res that led to a full-duration 31 Raptor engine test, according to SpaceX.

NASA awarded SpaceX contracts worth several billions of US dollars to use Starship to ferry American astronauts to the surface of the moon under the spaceagency’s Artemis programme.
NASA has announced plans to use a Starship to put astronauts on the lunar surface in 2025.


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