Elon Musk congratulates SpaceX on an “exciting” Starship launch after the prized rocket explodes.
The mega-rocket cleared the launchpad but exploded about three minutes after liftoff.
Elon Musk congratulated SpaceX on an “exciting” launch after the company’s Starship mega-rocket exploded shortly after liftoff.
Starship and its Super Heavy booster failed to separate from each other at a critical moment in flight, then plummeted into the air and exploded in a huge fireball about three minutes after launch.
The company’s livestream showed Kasturi rocking the SpaceX control room moments after the rocket exploded. “Congratulations to the @SpaceX team on the exciting test launch of Starship!” he tweeted.
Elon Musk had previously indicated that there was a one-in-two chance of the launch ending in an explosion.
“I’m not saying it will get into orbit, but I’m guaranteeing excitement,” the billionaire said in an interview on a March 7 Morgan Stanley conference call. “Won’t be boring!”
Elon Musk said during a Twitter space session on Sunday that his biggest concern for the flight was whether the Starship is a “fireball” on the launchpad.
Such an event would melt the steel and destroy the launchpad, he said, adding that it would take SpaceX several months to rebuild. Musk said, if this happens it will be a ‘very bad day’.
Overall, he estimated a 50% chance that the launch attempt would be successful. Elon Musk said in a tweet on Thursday that the launch yielded useful information. Much has been learned for the next test launch in a few months, he said.
Elon Musk’s grandest plan hinges not only on the extraordinary power of the Starship, but also on its ability to be completely reusable. In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX with the goal of making spaceflight affordable enough to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. This is the rocket that has to do that.
NASA has also selected Starship as its next lunar lander, to carry astronauts from an agency vehicle in lunar orbit to the lunar surface. That mission, called Artemis III, could happen sometime this decade.
The rocket is the largest and most powerful rocket ever built. With this comes technical challenges that need to be overcome.
Up to this point, the loftiest rockets were the Saturn V that launched NASA’s Apollo missions and the agency’s new Space Launch System, which it developed to return astronauts to the Moon again.
Once fully operational, Starship will be capable of carrying up to 150 metric tons (165 US tons) to space per SpaceX. This increases to 250 metric tons (275 tons) if the company forgoes reusability and discards the spacecraft upon mission completion.
To put this into perspective, the most powerful operational rocket right now is SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which carries up to 70 tons to low-Earth orbit.
Elon Musk’s ultimate goal is much bigger than the Moon: After all, the billionaire has said he plans to build 1,000 starships to transport 100,000 people a year to Mars, build a city there and host humans. placing it on the first multi-planetary planet in Earth’s history. ,