SpaceX’s Starship explodes in mid-air on its maiden flight
(CNN Spanish) — After liftoff, SpaceX’s starship exploded in midair on its first launch attempt. The most powerful rocket ever built is unmanned.
“The starship experienced what we call an unplanned rapid tear gas,” an official said in the broadcast.
The massive super-heavy rocket booster, which includes 33 engines, was lifted off Thursday morning, sending a huge boom across the coastal landscape as it powered up. A booster-mounted starship rose above the Gulf of Mexico.
After approximately two and a half minutes, the superheavy rocket booster was expected to expend most of its fuel and separate from the starship spacecraft, disposing of the booster in the ocean. But the rocket exploded in mid-air.
“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help improve Starship reliability as SpaceX makes life interplanetary,” SpaceX said in a tweet.
As if the flight test wasn’t exciting enough, the starship experienced a quick unplanned extraction before stage separation.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 20, 2023
Elon Musk’s company tried to launch on Monday, but was unable to due to a technical problem.
The event has been rescheduled for this Thursday, where there will be a window between 8:28 am CT (9:28 am Miami time) and 9:30 am CT (10:30 am Miami time).
The company will broadcast its launch event live WebsiteFrom about 45 minutes before departure.
Why didn’t the starship leave on Monday?
The launch was canceled after SpaceX said it was a broadcast pressure problem.
“Looks like the pressure valve is frozen, so no release today unless it starts working soon” Tweeted Musk at that time.
Even after the decision to abort the launch attempt, the team continued to execute some launch activities and run the countdown in a procedure known as a “wet dress rehearsal”. Finally, they stopped the countdown clock with 40 seconds left.
It’s common for first-time releases to be delayed as engineers fix issues that weren’t apparent during earlier testing.
For example, NASA’s Space Launch System rocket took four attempts to complete a wet suit test and two launch attempts before the vehicle was finally lifted off in November 2022.
Heading into lift-off on Monday, Musk tried to temper expectations: “Success is not what you expect. … It’s going to be crazy.”
With reporting by CNN’s Jackie Wattles.