SpaceX Starship launch successful despite explosion


Image Courtesy of SpaceX

Walt Brunson, Head Editor

With the recent explosion of the Starship April 20, SpaceX is making big moves in the private space exploration industry. The Starship launch was another stage in a series of tests for innovative new rocket propulsion systems and spacecraft. Although the Starship exploded a few minutes into the test, SpaceX is hailing this test as a great success.

“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and we learned a tremendous amount about the vehicle and ground systems today that will help us improve on future flights of Starship,” SpaceX states on their website. Clearing the 500 foot launch tower was the only primary goal of the test, and the explosion itself was intentionally triggered by what SpaceX calls the “Flight Termination System”, a safety feature that prevents any danger from an erroneous path by essentially self-destructing the rocket.

Among the results of the test is data about the engine designs, ignition systems, and launch facilities. The launch was one of the first to take place in SpaceX’s “Starbase” facility located near Brownsville, and offered more freedom for safe testing over the Gulf of Mexico.

The Starship tests are part of a plan to develop a reusable spacecraft that is capable of carrying large loads to include cargo and crew. SpaceX’s official description of the plan for this spacecraft outlines the goal as, “a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes.”