SpaceX launches, but explodes due to separation malfunction


SpaceX’s first attempt at launching its enormous, powerful Starship on an uncrewed test flight in space exploded in a fiery blast over the Gulf of Mexico as it tried to reach orbit Thursday.

Starship is a super-heavy-lift rocket and spacecraft, built to carry immense cargo and astronauts into deep space. The 400-foot-tall stainless steel skyscraper has about twice as much thrust as NASA’s mega moon rocket that flew in space for the first time five months ago and is fueled with 10 million pounds of liquid methane and oxygen.

SpaceX is not immune to failures, and billionaire founder Elon Musk hasn’t parsed words about the odds for the rocket to work during a major test flight.

“There’s a lot of risk associated with this first launch, so I would not say that it is likely to be successful,” he said during a video conference with a National Academies panel in 2021. “But I think we will make a lot of progress.”

During the test flight, the colossal booster was supposed to separate from the rocket about three minutes after liftoff from SpaceX’s launch site in South Texas close to the Mexican border, then drop into the Gulf of Mexico. The ship would fly in space around Earth at an altitude of over 150 miles, then splash down off the Hawaiian coast about 1.5 hours later.

Instead, the rocket never separated and continued to flip. Some debris plummeted into the ocean after it exploded on its descent, just four minutes after liftoff.

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2 Responses to SpaceX launches, but explodes due to separation malfunction

  1. auscitizenmom says:

    Musk says they learned a lot from the launch, so in ways it was a success. I like his attitude.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Menagerie says:

    If stupid people weren’t, by definition, stupid, they’d understand that everything they enjoy today from the simplest to the most complex things come from what the world considers failure and math and science consider, respectively, solving problems and experimentation. Which is a critical and necessary step to actually finding solutions and making things that work. The End.

    Also, read about the early history of space exploration. It is stupid for people and the government to always look for someone to blame. Sometimes that is what needs to be done. And sometimes you are on the road called We Ned To Learn What Works. Which is in the state of Keep Trying Until You Get There. That’s in a rapidly depopulating country called Be Innovative and Unafraid To Fail.

    Only a rare few people live there anymore, and when they are busy doing the things other people won’t even imagine, little cowards (see Keith Olbermann) come out from under their rocks shaking their fists and jeering as they crack a Bud Light.


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