Starship super rocket explodes 4 minutes after liftoff
Yesterday, Thursday, one of SpaceX’s most anticipated launches, the Starship spacecraft, took place. Unfortunately, the mission did not turn out as expected and the spacecraft exploded minutes after liftoff from a launch pad in South Texas. Despite this outcome, NASA, which is relying on SpaceX to build a version of Starship for its upcoming Artemis III mission, congratulated the company for its courage and determination.
Musk had lowered expectations
SpaceX founder Elon Musk had lowered expectations before the launch, saying it might take several attempts before Starship succeeded in its test flight. However, the rocket managed to fly for four minutes and away from the launch pad, producing a wealth of data for engineers to understand how the vehicle performed. Although the spacecraft failed to reach orbit and exploded in a fireball high over the Gulf of Mexico, the launch provided important lessons for the private spaceflight company as it worked on a more successful mission.
The most powerful ship ever built
In fact, the Starship is the most powerful spacecraft ever built and could carry enormous amounts of cargo and many people into space in the future. NASA’s Artemis III mission aims to carry two astronauts from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon. Although Thursday’s flight did not quite meet with the expected success, it did achieve several milestones
First lunar landing aboard Starship in late 2025
The flight plan called for the Starship spacecraft to reach a higher altitude of about 150 miles (240 kilometers) before dropping into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii about 90 minutes later. It remains to be seen how the outcome of Thursday’s flight could affect NASA’s schedule, which optimistically expects the first lunar landing by astronauts aboard Starship to occur in late 2025.
Elon Musk’s dream
SpaceX began building Starship motivated by Elon Musk’s dream of sending people to live on Mars someday, a project that would require transporting huge amounts of supplies to succeed. Despite the outcome of Thursday’s mission, the company is not discouraged and will continue to work on its vision of space exploration.