SpaceX has just launched its Starship aircraft, the most powerful rocket in the world.
The launch went well.
Up until the point it all went wrong.
Check out the launch video!
After months of testing, SpaceX finally launched the rocket.
It took off from the Starbase launch site in Texas on a 90-minute mission to orbit and back.
It reached 90 miles (148 kilometers) above ground, and that’s when things went awry.
First, the rocket’s Super Heavy first-stage booster exploded.
It was flying over the Gulf of Mexico when it happened.
And then the Starship sort of… disappeared.
Watch Starship’s second integrated flight test https://t.co/cahoRQ72lm— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 17, 2023
SpaceX took it in good spirit, and still called the launch a success.
Elon Musk’s space company shared a press statement to X.
“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multiplanetary,” the statement reads.
With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multiplanetary— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 18, 2023
Musk is testing the new Starship because he wants it to replace the company’s flagship rocket, Falcon 9.
So far, SpaceX has used Falcon 9 to launch satellites and commercial payloads into space.
And Musk needs the Starship program to be successful, because he’s under a lot of pressure from NASA.
The US Space Agency is counting on SpaceX to revamp its human spaceflight program, Artemis.
Artemis is supposed to be the spiritual successor to the Apollo missions, so yeah – no pressure, right?
SpaceX rockets are certainly powerful enough.
Starship’s first-stage booster is powered by 33 Raptor engines, and it produces thrust that’s twice as powerful as that of the Saturn V rocket from the Apollo program.