Starship Setback: SpaceX’s largest rocket explodes during test flight


Caiden Lujin, Editor

The largest and most powerful rocket ever built, SpaceX’s Starship, underwent a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” this morning in South Texas. Put more simply, it blew up.

The rocket was unmanned, and the launch was the first test flight as part of SpaceX’s Starship endeavor – an attempt to create a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying crew and cargo to orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Though for this model of the Starship, it does not seem likely we will see much more use.

The 33-engine vessel lifted off over the Gulf of Mexico in spirits as high as the 24.2 mile flight path that spanned four minutes before the Starship went up in flames.

The explosion was seen by the masses as a much bigger deal than those involved with SpaceX, and the future of the mission at large was in question. Thousands refreshed the always-fruitful Twitter page of Elon Musk’s in anticipation for an announcement, or reassurance that nothing fatal had transpired during the failed launch.

“Learned a lot for the next test launch in a few months,” said Musk after taking to Twitter just minutes after the explosion.

SpaceX is not ready to hit the panic button, however, and an explosion was not too far-fetched of an end result for the test flight.

“It may look that way to some people, but it’s not a failure,” said American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics executive director Daniel Dumbacher. “It’s a learning experience.”

Historically, SpaceX has managed to stay afloat amidst large-scale financial setbacks as costly as the loss of the world’s biggest rocket, and the team plans to have another launch set by the end of the calendar year.