On April 20, SpaceX’s Starship rocket had its first-ever test launch with both sections fully stacked. However, the launch ended in an explosion in the Texas sky. The cause of the failure is still unknown. This test flight was not carrying any people or satellites, but it was a crucial step in SpaceX’s plan to send people and cargo to the moon and Mars. SpaceX founder Elon Musk congratulated the team for the test launch and stated that the lessons learned would be applied to future launches. Despite this setback, SpaceX has made progress in recent months, successfully landing early versions of the Starship upright for the first time in 2021.
SpaceX’s Starship Rocket Fails on First Full Test Launch
SpaceX’s highly anticipated launch of its Starship rocket on Thursday morning ended in failure just minutes after takeoff. The rocket, which is the largest and most powerful ever built, was designed to send people and cargo to the moon and Mars. However, during stage separation, the rocket began to tumble and ultimately exploded, plunging into the Gulf of Mexico.
SpaceX to Improve Starship Reliability After Failed Launch
In a tweet following the incident, SpaceX founder Elon Musk congratulated his team on an “exciting test launch of Starship,” adding that the company had learned valuable lessons for the next launch, which is planned for a few months from now. SpaceX also stated that it would continue to review data from the launch to improve the reliability of the Starship.
Criticism and Success Surround SpaceX’s Starship Rocket
NASA has already reserved a Starship for its next moon mission, scheduled for 2025, and the rocket was intended to be fully reusable. While none of the rocket’s components were recovered, SpaceX is committed to making the Starship fully reusable and will work to achieve full and rapid reusability in the coming years.
Despite the setback, SpaceX has been making progress in recent months, successfully landing early versions of the Starship upright for the first time in 2021. Musk estimates that there is an 80% chance that one of the fleets of Starships under construction will reach orbit by the end of the year.
However, not everyone is pleased with SpaceX’s activities. The American Bird Conservancy criticized the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent decision to grant SpaceX a launch license, claiming that the company’s operations have damaged important coastal bird habitats. The organization believes that Cape Canaveral would be a better launch location with a lower environmental impact.
While the cause of the Starship’s failure is not yet known, SpaceX remains committed to its mission of making life multi-planetary and will continue to work towards improving the reliability of the rocket for future flights.
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