SpaceX Starship launch failed minutes after reaching space
Saturday, 18 November, 2023, 19:36
SpaceX's uncrewed spacecraft Starship, developed to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond, was presumed to have failed in space minutes after lifting off on Saturday during its second test, after its first attempt ended in an explosion.
The two-stage rocketship blasted off from the Elon Musk-owned company's Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, boosting the Starship spacecraft roughly 55 miles (90 km) above ground on a planned 90-minte flight into space.
But the rocket's Super Heavy first stage booster, though it appeared to achieve a crucial maneuver to separate with its core Starship stage, exploded over the Gulf of Mexico shortly after detaching, a SpaceX webcast showed.
Meanwhile, the core Starship booster carried further toward space, but a few minutes later a company broadcaster said that SpaceX mission control suddenly lost contact with the vehicle.
About eight minutes into the test mission, a camera view tracking the Starship booster appeared to show an explosion that would suggest the vehicle failed at that time. The rocket's altitude was 91 miles (148 km).
The launch was the second attempt to fly Starship mounted atop its towering Super Heavy rocket booster, following an April attempt that ended in explosive failure about four minutes after lift-off.
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