SpaceX publishes dramatic images of a double explosion of Starship

Almost a month has passed since the second launch of the Starship rocket and the Super Heavy booster. Just the other day, SpaceX published a video that demonstrated both the excitement and joy of a successful launch and conveyed all the drama and tension during the explosive completion of the flight.

The second flight of the Super Heavy rocket with the Starship spacecraft on November 18, 2023. The photo shows the moment of separation of Starship from Super Heavy. Photo: SpaceX

The drama includes two powerful explosions of the first and second stages of Starship. They occurred about four and eight minutes after the launch on November 18. Although SpaceX calls them “rapid unscheduled disassembly”. 

By posting this video on the X website (formerly known as Twitter), Elon Musk’s private space company does not hide the catastrophic end of the flight. The images show a smiling and happy Elon Musk, who congratulates the employees on a successful launch and the general joy that prevails in the mission control center. The fact is that, despite the tragic ending, SpaceX tests are generally considered successful. During the flight, launched from the company’s Starbase site in South Texas, the spacecraft overcame several important milestones. 

For example, all 33 Raptor engines of the first stage of the Super Heavy launch vehicle (Booster 9) coped with their work perfectly, burning a huge amount of fuel in the required 2.5 minutes. Super Heavy successfully separated from the upper stage, which also lit its Raptors on schedule.

During its debut flight, which launched from Starbase on April 20, Starship did not achieve any of these indicators. That day, several Raptors on the Super Heavy failed earlier than planned, and both stages could not separate from each other, which led to the controlled destruction of the rocket four minutes after launch.

The launch of the Super Heavy rocket with the Starship spacecraft on November 18, 2023. Photo: SpaceX

The purpose of both test flights was to send Starship on a suborbital flight, after which it would fall into the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands. At the same time, the Super Heavy was supposed to land in the Gulf of Mexico, near the coast of Texas. But full-fledged success from the first test flights is usually not expected, especially when it comes to the most powerful rocket ever created by mankind. 

SpaceX is now preparing for the third Starship flight, which can take place in a few weeks if all the documents are ready. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which issues launch licenses, is now investigating the incident during the flight on November 18

If all obstacles are overcome, Starship will help humanity return to the Moon, colonize Mars, and explore other worlds outside the Earth. NASA shares this point of view: the agency chose Starship as a lander under the Artemis program. It is planned that this will happen before 2027.

Earlier we reported that Elon Musk announced the second generation Starship.

According to Space

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