All posts tagged: today’s explosion

SpaceX Is Holding Up America’s Lunar Ambitions

SpaceX Is Holding Up America’s Lunar Ambitions

The second liftoff of Starship, SpaceX’s giant new rocket-and-spaceship system, went beautifully this morning, the fire of the engines matching the orange glow of the sunrise in South Texas. The spaceship soared over the Gulf Coast, with all 33 engines in the rocket booster pulsing. High in the sky, the vehicles separated seamlessly—through a technique that SpaceX debuted during this flight—and employees let out wild cheers. The booster soon exploded, but the flight could survive that. What mattered was that Starship was still flying. It could still coast along the edge of space, and then plunge back to Earth, crashing into the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of Hawaii, as SpaceX planned. But then, as SpaceX mission control waited to hear a signal from Starship, there was only silence. Something had gone wrong after the ship shut off its engines in preparation to coast. The self-destruct system kicked in, and Starship blew itself up, according to SpaceX’s commentators, who were narrating the livestream. A “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” as SpaceXers call it. SpaceX can certainly …