Science and Technology Astronautics

The second test was also bad

Starship rocket detonated in flight minutes after launch - Video

New failure for Musk's rocket chosen by NASA to return to the Moon. The U.S. aerospace agency: "An opportunity to learn." SpaceX: "We will improve reliability"


SpaceX base in Boca Chica, Texas, close to the southern border of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico: there was a lot of anticipation for the experimental launch of Starship, a 50-meter rocket produced by Elon Musk's aerospace company, and its Super Heavy propulsion stage, 70 meters high. Expectation, however, at least partly disappointed: the test failed, as had already happened in the previous attempt seven months ago.

Starship and Super Heavy underwent a "rapid unplanned teardown," SpaceX said. Starship, at an altitude of 70 km, had successfully separated from the thruster, which then exploded. It then continued on its course but the engineers on the ground lost contact before it reached orbit and for this reason it was detonated.

The first test ended in the spring with a gigantic explosion before the two stadiums separated. Musk congratulated his team on the successful separation phase: "Starship's core stage engines ran for several minutes on its journey to space." On X, the social network also owned by Musk, Space X wrote: "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 multiplanetary life a reality."

"Today's test was an opportunity to learn and then fly again," said Bill Nelson, chief administrator of NASA, the U.S. space agency that is betting on Starship for its Artemis program, aimed at returning a human to the moon after decades. "Spaceflight is a daring adventure, requiring a positive spirit and innovation. Congratulations to the teams who made progress in today's flight test. Together, NASA and SpaceX will take humanity back to the Moon, Mars and beyond."