Elon Musk congratulates SpaceX after Starship was deliberately blown up

Only four minutes after liftoff, SpaceX's Starship rocket exploded, ending the first trial flight for the world's largest and most powerful rocket.

2 minutes & 19 seconds read time

SpaceX launched the rocket slated to be the transportation method that the first astronauts will use to walk on the surface of Mars.

It was only a few days ago I reported that Musk was planning on launching SpaceX's Starship this week, and that launch could have occurred on April 20 (4/20), a celebrated holiday by cannabis users and Elon Musk. The launch happened to land on the comical holiday, and Starship lifted off from its launch pad at SpaceX's seaside Starbase facility at Boca Chica Beach, South Texas, at 9:33 a.m EDT.

The 394-foot-tall rocket, the largest and most powerful ever built, was a sight to behold as it climbed in altitude thanks to its powerful 33 first-stage Raptor engines. However, only three minutes after liftoff Starship failed to separate from its Super Heavy booster, the first stage of the rocket. Since both parts of the vehicle were still attached, Starship began to tumble mid-flight, and approximately four minutes after takeoff, the 394-foot-tall rocket exploded, or as SpaceX likes to describe it, a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".

For those wondering why Starship exploded, SpaceX detonated it. The choice for its rapid disassembly was made by SpaceX officials after the tumbling began. Additionally, SpaceX wrote in an update just a few hours after the flight that Starship experienced multiple engine outages, lost altitude, and, as a result, tumbled, leading to officials engaging the flight termination system on both the booster and the ship.

Despite what seems to be a bleak orbital test flight, SpaceX employees celebrated the launch as a plethora of data was gathered that will be used to improve the chances of the next orbital test flight. Notably, SpaceX and Elon Musk, the company's CEO, didn't expect Starship's first orbital launch to go perfectly to plan. Musk has said in past interviews and on Twitter that there was about a 50% chance that Starship would explode on its first orbital test flight.

SpaceX plan on taking all of the data they have gathered from this test launch and applying it to the next test launch, which Musk says will happen in a "few months". SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of space travel with Starship, and along the development road, there will be bumps and likely explosions, but as SpaceX representatives have said, it won't be boring.

"Now this was a development test. It's a first test flight of Starship. And the goal is to gather the data and as we said, clear the pad and get ready to go again," SpaceX Principal Intergration Engineer John Insprucker said during the company's livestream. "So you never know exactly what's going to happen. But as we promised, excitement is guaranteed. And Starship gave us a rather spectacular end to what was truly an incredible test as far."

When SpaceX perfects Starship, Earth will have unlocked a vehicle that is capable of transporting 100 tons of cargo to the Moon and to Mars, enabling the possibility of setting up a lunar or Martian base with just one trip. Starship is our mode of transportation to become a multi-planetary species.

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NEWS SOURCE:space.com

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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