SpaceX Starship launch | Successes and failures of second test flight



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An historic launch in Texas [Applause] today 6 5 4 3 2 1 sounds like a party there doesn’t it SpaceX Starship made its second attempt into space It was supposed to go for 90 minutes around the globe joining me now is Paul Delaney professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at York University Professor

Thank you very much for joining us this morning I’m sure you were watching oh I certainly was Roger it was an exciting couple of minutes uh which is I guess a little bit more than what they got the first time around it uh self-destructed this time

Well on balance I think SpaceX will be happy with today’s performance but when you don’t end up with either of the pieces of the rocket intact at the end of the day you’ve got to be a little disappointed uh you’re right the uh the first stage uh actually what they call a

Rapid unscheduled disassembly which in common terms is it blew up uh that happened shortly after stage separation but the first stage had done its job that had gotten Starship through stage separation and on its way to orbit and then we’re still not sure what happened towards the very end of the burn which

Was a bit of a surprise uh we lost contact with the second stage there is the assumption that it uh did explode or it did uh initiate a self-destruct but what happened there as it was approaching its sort of suborbital Maximum we really don’t know now um I I don’t know if you

Can tell you or not but were there positives all the things that they think they’ corrected from the the previous uh attempted launch uh did they go well or do we know yet oh yes absolutely uh back in April we only got As far as stage separation and that was a complete

Failure and that’s what caused the loss of the vehicle at that point in time they have corrected that it teams they went through stage separation what they call Hot separation hot staging and that went very very well Starship carried on so tick the box there the uh first stage

Did begin its uh return to Earth but uh the dynamic loads on it appear to have been too high hot staging is a very very challenging undertaking so nobody will be too surprised that we lost the first stage at that point the big question is what happened there at the end of the

Second stage it was almost the cruise phase almost to the point where it was going to Coast around the planet and begin the last big tick that they wanted and that was the re-entry that did not happen so they’ll be disappointed at that end but every other aspect of today

They really did tick off a lot of boxes they’ll be combing through the data I think they’ll be pretty happy on balance okay before we go so what’s next and how many of these do they have I mean you don’t have a bunch of them just laying

Around so how many do they have they are rapidly building them this is the way SpaceX Works they literally build rockets fly them blow them up or lose them and fly again that has been their trademark for 20 or nearly 20 years so this is not too much of a surprise the

Next one is getting ready I would expect that we’ll see it Fly within the next three months assuming nothing to unto comes out during the data analysis so despite the the explosions overall fairly successful day could we call it I’m sure there’ll be champagne flowing at Hawthorne California very very

Liberally no question interesting all right Professor thank you very much as always Paul Delaney Professor Meritus of physics and astronomy at New York University

Professor of emeritus astronomy Paul Delaney explains SpaceX’s Starship rocket second attempt to space that was cut short soon after takeoff

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