Why did Starship’s second flight end in an explosion?

Elon Musk claimed that the cause of the crash of the Starship/Super Heavy rocket on November 18 this year was the venting of liquid oxygen from the tank. It was carried out due to the fact that there was no payload on board.

Starship flight in November 2023. Source: SpaceX

Causes of the Starship accident

The cause of the Starship18 spacecraft accident last November was the vent of liquid oxygen used as an oxidizer on these rockets. At least, this version was announced by the head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, in his statement.

Starship, consisting of the ship and a giant upper stage, is the largest carrier that has ever been created by man. SpaceX has been promising for several years to revolutionize space exploration with its help.

However, test flights started only in 2023. At the same time, the first attempt in the spring ended with a rocket explosion, even before separation. The investigation revealed that the reason was that not all the engines were working, and the rocket began to spin.

On November 18, SpaceX managed to launch Starship almost to orbit, but at the last moment the self-destruct system worked, which was seriously reconfigured after the first flight.

Next attempt will take place in February

Musk did not disclose details of what exactly happened and why the automatic flight control system decided to destroy the plane. However, he stated that the oxygen vent operation was solely due to the fact that there was no payload on board.

The head of SpaceX assures that this will definitely not happen on the next attempt, and the rocket will finally reach orbit. It is not yet known exactly when this will happen. But the company hopes that it will be possible in February.

It is also known that during the new flight, a new fuel transfer system from the main tank to the additional one will be tested. In the future, it will be used to refuel other spacecraft.

According to spacenews.com

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