After liftoff, SpaceX’s Starship exploded in midair during its first launch attempt. The most powerful rocket ever built is unmanned. “Starship just went through what we call an unplanned quick teardown,” an official said on the radio.
SpaceX’s spacecraft self-destructed after liftoff from the company’s Boca Chica launch pad on Thursday, April 20. The gigantic Super Heavy rocket booster, with 33 engines, lifted off Thursday morning, sending a loud roar across the coastal landscape upon awakening. Starship on booster ascends into the Gulf of Mexico.
About two and a half minutes after liftoff, the Super Heavy rocket booster is expected to use up most of its fuel and separate from Starship, dumping the booster into the ocean. But the rocket exploded in midair. “With tests like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX looks to make life multiplanetary,” SpaceX said in a tweet.
Elon Musk’s company tried to launch it on Monday but was unsuccessful due to technical issues. The event has been rescheduled for this Thursday between 8:28 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. m. ET (9:28 a.m. Miami time) and 9:30 a.m. m. ET (10:30 a.m. Miami time) There is a window. The company will live stream the launch attempt on its website approximately 45 minutes before launch.
The launch was canceled due to what the SpaceX broadcast called a pressurization issue. “The pressurization valve appears to be frozen so no launch today unless it starts working soon,” Musk tweeted at the time.
Even after deciding to cancel the launch attempt, the team continued to perform some launch maneuvers and continued the countdown in a practice known as “wet rehearsal.” Finally, they stopped the countdown with 40 seconds left. It’s common for initial releases to be delayed as engineers fix issues that might not have been apparent during earlier testing.
For example, NASA’s Space Launch System rocket underwent four attempts to complete the wet skirt test and two launch attempts before finally lifting off in November 2022.