SpaceX Starship launched on test flight in Texas after last one blew up

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Nov 18, 2023
SpaceX's next-generation Starship spacecraft atop its powerful Super Heavy rocket lifts off from the company's Boca Chica launchpad.(REUTERS)

SpaceX's next-generation spacecraft Starship, developed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, roared into the sky from the Gulf Coast of Texas on Saturday in a repeat test launch seven months after its first attempt to reach space ended in an explosion.

The two-stage rocketship, taller than the Statue of Liberty, blasted off from the Elon Musk-owned company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, east of Brownsville, on a planned 90-minute uncrewed flight into space.

The launch marked only the second attempt to fly Starship mounted atop its towering Super Heavy rocket booster.

A live SpaceX webcast of the lift-off showed the rocketship rising from the launch tower into the morning sky as the Super Heavy's cluster of powerful Raptor engines thundered to life in a ball of flame and billowing clouds of exhaust and water vapor.

The test flight's principal objective was to get Starship off the ground and into space just shy of Earth obit. Doing so would mark a key step toward achieving SpaceX's ambition producing a large, multi-purpose, spacecraft capable of sending people and cargo back to the moon later this decade for NASA, and ultimately to Mars.

READ | SpaceX Starship set for repeat test flight, seven months after last one blew up

Musk - SpaceX's founder, chief executive and chief engineer - also sees Starship as eventually replacing the company's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket as the centerpiece of its launch business that already lofts most of the world's satellites and other commercial payloads into space.

NASA, SpaceX's primary customer, has a considerable stake in the success of Starship, which the U.S. space agency is counting on to play a central role in its human spaceflight program, Artemis, successor to the Apollo missions of more than a half century ago that put astronauts on the moon for the first time.

A successful test flight on Saturday also would make the Starship-Super Heavy combo as the most powerful launch vehicle on Earth, surpassing NASA's own Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion capsule, which flew together for the first time in December 2022.

READ | Elon Musk SpaceX's ‘world most powerful rocket' Starship test flight on Saturday

Starship's towering first-stage booster, propelled by 33 Raptor engines, puts the rocket system's full height at some 400 feet (122 meters) and produces thrust twice as powerful as the Saturn V rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to the moon.

The mission's objective is to get Starship off the ground in Texas and into space just shy of reaching orbit, then plunge through Earth's atmosphere for a splashdown off Hawaii's coast. The launch had been scheduled for Friday but was pushed back by a day for a last-minute swap of flight-control hardware.

During its April 20 test flight, the spacecraft blew itself to bits less than four minutes into a planned 90-minute flight that flight went awry from the start. SpaceX has acknowledged that some of the Super Heavy's 33 Raptor engines malfunctioned on ascent, and that the lower-stage booster rocket failed to separate as designed from the upper-stage Starship before the flight was terminated.

RISK TOLERANCE

The company's engineering culture, considered more risk-tolerant than many of the aerospace industry's more established players, is built on a flight-testing strategy that pushes spacecraft to the point of failure, then fine-tunes improvements through frequent repetition.

A failure at any point in the test flight would be a major concern for NASA, which is counting on SpaceX's rapid rocket development ethos to swiftly get humans to the moon in the U.S. competition with China's lunar ambitions.

Judging the success or failure of the outcome may be less than clear-cut, depending on how far the spacecraft gets this time. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who has made the China rivalry a key need for speed, compared Starship's test campaign with the success of SpaceX's past rocket development efforts.

How did they develop the Falcon 9? They went through many tests, sometimes it blew up," Nelson told Reuters on Tuesday. "They'd find out what went wrong, they'd correct it then go back.

The combined spacecraft in April reached a peak altitude of roughly 25 miles (40 km), only about halfway to space at its target altitude of 90 miles (150 km), before bursting into flames.

Musk has said that an internal fire during Starship's ascent damaged its engines and computers, causing it to stray off course, and that an automatic-destruct command was activated some 40 seconds later than it should have to blow up the rocket.

The launch pad itself was shattered by the force of the blastoff, which also sparked a 3.5-acre (1.4-hectare) brush fire. No one was injured. SpaceX has since reinforced the launch pad with a massive water-cooled steel plate, one of dozens of corrective actions that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration required before granting a launch license on Wednesday for the second test flight.

Source: Hindustan Times
Related Posts:

Comment on Post

Leave a comment

If you have a News HTS user account, your address will be used to display your profile picture.

POPULAR News

icon
Bussiness She moved to the US from India at a tender age of 11. She was just 15 when she launched her technology startup. She now employs 10 people in her firm, valued at a whopping ₹100 crore. This is the life story of Pranjali Awasthi, the 16-year-old Indian protégé who has proved age is merely a number when it comes to entrepreneurship.
icon
Bussiness Bengaluru: As part of its pre-Series B funding round, elder care platform Age Care Labs has raised $11 million in fresh capital from fintech unicorn Zerodha's investment arm Rainmatter Capital and proptech investment firm Gruhas. Bengaluru: As part of its pre-Series B funding round, elder care platform Age Care Labs has raised $11 million in fresh capital from fintech unicorn Zerodha's investment arm Rainmatter Capital and proptech investment firm Gruhas.
icon
World The United States warned against any "escalation" in the Middle East in the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday, hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region. The United States warned against any "escalation" in the Middle East in the wake of Israel's war with Hamas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sunday, hours after the Pentagon moved to step up military readiness in the region.
icon
Sports Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu's journey came to an end at the Denmark Open Super 750 tournament in Odense on Saturday. Sindhu, who has not been at her best in recent outings, endured a tough 18-21, 21-19, 7-21 defeat against Spain's Carolina Marin in the semifinals.
icon
Latest News The Pakistan Cricket Board puts an end to rumours of alleged discord and infighting in the cricket team which is currently competing in the ODI World Cup in India. Pakistan started the campaign on a high with a couple of wins but their campaign witnessed a drop with defeats in the last two matches. After Pakistan's underwhelming performances, and the reports of internal discord on the side went viral.
icon
Latest News Samantha shared this image. (courtesy: samantharuthprabhuoffl Samantha shared this image. (courtesy: samantharuthprabhuoffl Samantha shared this image. (courtesy: samantharuthprabhuoffl Samantha shared this image. (courtesy: samantharuthprabhuoffl Samantha shared this image. (courtesy: samantharuthprabhuoffl
icon
Technology Chinese e-commerce platforms including JD.com, PDD Holdings' Pinduoduo and Alibaba's Taobao are offering big discounts on Apple's latest iPhone 15, with some going for up to 1,501 yuan ($205.14) below the retail price. Chinese e-commerce platforms including JD.com, PDD Holdings' Pinduoduo and Alibaba's Taobao are offering big discounts on Apple's latest iPhone 15, with some going for up to 1,501 yuan ($205.14) below the retail price.
icon
Latest News Many people turn to social media as a platform for voicing their grievances with companies. A passenger flying with Ryanair, also took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share a complaint, however the response he received from the airline has left many people in splits.
icon
Latest News This was India's third gold in women's kabaddi which was introduced in the 2010 Asian Games. This was India's third gold in women's kabaddi which was introduced in the 2010 Asian Games. This was India's third gold in women's kabaddi which was introduced in the 2010 Asian Games.
icon
World Canadian police are searching for a suspect after three temples were robbed on Sunday. Canadian police are searching for a suspect after three temples were robbed on Sunday. Canadian police are searching for a suspect after three temples were robbed on Sunday.
icon
Latest News Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India. Vijay Dashmi is a major cultural festival in India.
icon
World Hostages remain an important political currency for the Hamas. Hostages remain an important political currency for the Hamas. Hostages remain an important political currency for the Hamas. Hostages remain an important political currency for the Hamas.
icon
Latest News
icon
Technology YouTube on Monday said it did not detect materials related to child sexual abuse on its platform despite multiple probes and also has not received evidence of such content on the video streaming platform from regulators. YouTube on Monday said it did not detect materials related to child sexual abuse on its platform despite multiple probes and also has not received evidence of such content on the video streaming platform from regulators.
icon
Latest News Delhi High Court directed both platforms to refrain from using each other's copyrighted material Delhi High Court directed both platforms to refrain from using each other's copyrighted material Delhi High Court directed both platforms to refrain from using each other's copyrighted material
icon
Latest News In a fur-tastic twist, a cat recently showed a heartwarming - and a tad bit hilarious - exception to the common cat-and-dog rivalry. How? The cat got very protective while hugging a dog and became angry with its human who tried to pet the pooch. In a fur-tastic twist, a cat recently showed a heartwarming - and a tad bit hilarious - exception to the common cat-and-dog rivalry. How? The cat got very protective while hugging a dog and became angry with its human who tried to pet the pooch.
icon
World Israel has formed an emergency government to conduct war against Hamas, five days after the group's fighters killed civilians in their homes and on the streets in an unprecedented assault on Israeli soil. Israel has formed an emergency government to conduct war against Hamas, five days after the group's fighters killed civilians in their homes and on the streets in an unprecedented assault on Israeli soil.
icon
Latest News Humans of Bombay (HOB) recently filed a case in Delhi High Court against People of India (POI) over protecting their intellectual property. The platform's founder Karishma Mehta has now taken to Instagram to address the controversy around the case and also inform that the court has ‘upheld their contentions'.
icon
World Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday thanked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for United States' support to the country in the war against terror group Hamas saying that his visit is a tangible example of America's unequivocal support in the time where they should stand tall, proud and united against the sheer evil.
icon
Latest News Ultra-luxury brands "play you," according to Nikhil Kamath. Ultra-luxury brands "play you," according to Nikhil Kamath. Ultra-luxury brands "play you," according to Nikhil Kamath. Ultra-luxury brands "play you," according to Nikhil Kamath. Ultra-luxury brands "play you," according to Nikhil Kamath.
icon
Life Style In a world where traditional work norms and relentless work hours have been the norm, a new trend is emerging that challenges these conventions and is poised to reshape India's workforce. Dubbed the “lazy girl job,” this trend champions work-life balance, defying the old paradigm of relentless work hours and potential burnouts. It has the potential to not only change the way we work but also transform gender inclusion and the gig economy.
icon
Latest News A video capturing impatient passengers rushing to enter a train through a narrow opening of the door, each vying for a coveted spot inside, was shared online. The video was posted on Reddit with a caption that reads, “Automatic door in Mumbai trains.” The clip shows how the passengers hurled themselves through the half-open doors.
icon
World Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday alleged babies were murdered and burned by Hamas terrorists during their onslaught against Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday alleged babies were murdered and burned by Hamas terrorists during their onslaught against Israel.
icon
World The social media post was made amid a controversy over Israel's claims of Hamas beheading babies. The social media post was made amid a controversy over Israel's claims of Hamas beheading babies. The social media post was made amid a controversy over Israel's claims of Hamas beheading babies.
icon
World Darryl George,18, a black junior student at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas was suspended from his school over his dreadlocks hairstyle. Darryl George,18, a black junior student at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu, Texas was suspended from his school over his dreadlocks hairstyle.