“SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft, designed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, suffered a suspected failure on Saturday just minutes after blasting off on its second test flight following a previous unsuccessful attempt.
Explosion over the Gulf of Mexico
The two-stage rocketship lifted off from the Starbase launch site near Boca Chica, Texas, and reached around 90 kilometres above ground on a planned 90-minute flight. However, the rocket’s Super Heavy first-stage booster exploded over the Gulf of Mexico shortly after detaching.
Meanwhile, the core Starship booster continued toward space, but contact with the vehicle was suddenly lost roughly 10 minutes into the flight, setting off the flight termination system.
Second test attempt
This launch marked the second attempt to fly the Starship spacecraft mounted atop its towering Super Heavy rocket booster, following a previous failure in April. Despite the setback, SpaceX remains committed to investing in this innovative project.
Flight termination system mystery
The cause of the loss of contact with Starship is yet to be determined, and the spacecraft’s flight termination system is being looked at to understand what may have occurred.
Journey to the moon and Mars
The principal objective of the test flight was to propel Starship into a critical position near Earth’s orbit. This was a key milestone towards SpaceX’s grand ambition of creating a multi-purpose spacecraft capable of missions to the moon and Mars.
Reliability for NASA
With NASA as its primary customer, the success of Starship is important for future human space missions. NASA’s Artemis program relies on the spacecraft, which aims to replicate the success of the Apollo missions and land astronauts on the moon.
Planned splashdown near Hawaii
The ultimate goal was for Starship to transition from space to a splashdown near Hawaii. Despite the promising capabilities of the spacecraft, challenges with flight-control hardware caused a one-day delay in the launch from its initial planned date.
On its last attempt in April, the Starship spacecraft faced technical malfunctions, but SpaceX is steadfast in its commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration. The triumphant launch of Starship will mark a significant milestone in space travel, potentially transforming the future of human spaceflight as we know it.”
SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft has been at the center of mass removal explosion over the Gulf of Mexico,
cause of loss of contact is still unknown. Percipients for the spacecraft rise are still present.