DH Latest NewsDH NEWSLatest NewsNEWSInternational

SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built explodes during its first-stage separation

SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, made history on Thursday as it lifted off on its first test flight from the SpaceX spaceport in Boca Chica, Texas. The spacecraft was designed to carry astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, but unfortunately, the rocket exploded during its first-stage separation.

The Starship capsule was scheduled to separate from the first-stage rocket booster three minutes into the flight, but separation failed, and the rocket blew up.

The launch took place at 8:33 am Central Time (7:03 pm IST) and was initially scheduled for Monday but had to be postponed at the last minute due to a ‘technological issue.’ SpaceX had to call off the test with nine minutes left on the countdown clock due to a pressurization problem caused by a frozen valve.

Although the test launch ended in an explosion, SpaceX declared it a success. The company said, ‘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 multi-planetary.’ SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, congratulated the entire team on the launch and said that it provided valuable insights for the next test launch.

The rocket, which consists of a 164-foot tall spacecraft designed to carry crew and cargo atop a 230-foot tall first-stage Super Heavy booster rocket, stood taller than the Statue of Liberty at 394 feet. It marks a milestone in SpaceX’s ambition to send humans back to the Moon.

A successful test-firing of the 33 Raptor engines on the first-stage booster was conducted in February, but the Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy rocket had never flown together. The test flight aimed to test their performance in combination.

Musk had earlier warned that technical issues were likely and sought to play down expectations for the inaugural test flight, stating that ‘It’s a very risky flight. It’s the first launch of a very complicated, gigantic rocket. There’s a million ways this rocket could fail.’

NASA aims to use the Starship spacecraft to ferry astronauts to the Moon in late 2025 under its mission Artemis III. This will be the first time that humans will go to the Moon since the Apollo program ended in 1972. Before Artemis III, there is Artemis II, which will take astronauts around lunar orbit in November 2024.

The agency will use its own heavy rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS) for it, which has been in development for more than a decade. However, Starship is both bigger and more powerful than SLS and can lift a payload of more than 100 metric tonnes into orbit.


Post Your Comments

Back to top button