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SPACEX's Starship spacecraft exploded four minutes after launch on its first full test flight

Apparently the thrust of the first stage was not strong enough and the spacecraft was not able to separate from it. This is still an unmanned test flight and it seems that now the manned tests will move away * This is the fourth prototype to crash on launch

The moment the Starship spacecraft exploded during a test flight on 20/4/2023. From the live broadcast of Spice X on YouTube
The moment the Starship spacecraft exploded during a test flight on 20/4/2023. From the live broadcast of Spice X on YouTube

SpaceX's prototype Starship rocket exploded about four minutes after liftoff during a test flight today, Tuesday, April 20, 2023. The prototype, called SN14, was launched from the company's test facilities in Boca Chica, Texas. The rocket reached an altitude of about 10 kilometers before suddenly exploding and crashing back to Earth.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the rocket's engine thrust "was too low" during ascent. He also noted that "some of the landing system components are being redesigned" and that "I hope they will do better with SN15," referring to the next Starship prototype that will continue the launch tests.

The Starship rocket is part of SpaceX's ambitious plan to revolutionize space travel by making it cheaper and more accessible. The company has already achieved several milestones, such as sending astronauts to the International Space Station and landing reusable launchers on autonomous ships at sea. However, the development of the spacecraft proved to be a significant technical challenge, and it remains to be seen when the company will be able to successfully launch and land a fully operational version of the spacecraft.

The Starship rocket is intended to be a fully reusable spacecraft that can carry up to 100 people and 100 tons of cargo to destinations such as the Moon and Mars. The company is conducting a series of tests with its starship prototypes, but this is the fourth test that ended in an explosion. Despite the delays, Musk said the company will continue to iterate and improve the design until it succeeds.

Main data

  • Height: 120 meters
  • Diameter: 9 meters
  • Weight: 1,400,000 kg
  • Cargo capacity: up to 100 tons

The spacecraft consists of two parts: the Super Heavy booster that provides the initial thrust to lift the spacecraft off the ground, and the Starship spacecraft, which carries the payload to orbit and beyond.

The Starship spacecraft is made of stainless steel, which is both lightweight and strong enough to withstand the harsh conditions of space travel. It is designed to be fully reusable, with heat shields and thrusters that will allow it to land on Earth or other planets.

The Starship program has a long history, dating back to 2011, when SpaceX first announced plans for a reusable spacecraft. The company has gone through several incarnations of the design, with the current Starship being the fifth major version.

SpaceX has conducted several successful test flights of the Starship prototype, including a high-altitude test in May 2021 in which the spacecraft reached an altitude of 10 km (6.2 miles) before successfully landing back on Earth.

The spacecraft program is seen as a key part of SpaceX's long-term goal of colonizing Mars and making space travel more accessible and affordable.

To record the live broadcast of SpaceX. The crash towards the end

More of the topic in Hayadan:

9 תגובות

  1. Lorem Epsom wrote correctly, and I would like to add some small details: the second phase apparently failed to separate from the first phase. A few seconds after the separation was supposed to occur, the steps are seen to oscillate with the connection area being a kind of hinge. The narration I heard said that both stages were destroyed by a line of multiple charges along both stages. This is a common thing - every launch of a heavy rocket should have a means of destruction in case of a different trajectory than planned that endangers populated areas.

  2. I think the maximum payload capacity should be 200 – 250 tons for low orbital orbit (LEO).
    A launch to LEO of 100 tons should cost a million dollars (actually the cost of fuel + amortization/depreciation), that is tens of dollars per kilogram, which is about 5-6 orders of magnitude cheaper than it costs today, which actually opens the door not only to the settlement of Mars (reducing cost the mission to raise reasonable cost) but also for mining resources in space and from there actually creating an ecosystem around space such as creating a tourism and entertainment industry and also a settlement of Mars, which will actually be the next "America". The impact on the world economy is supposed to be astronomical, literally, with the potential to increase the product of humanity from 10 trillion per year to levels of hundreds of trillions of dollars, which in fact should theoretically eliminate this concept called poverty or unemployment.

  3. The author of this article is very mistaken because, at least according to the title and subtitle, the trend is that the experiment was a failure, and it really was not.
    They repeated and said again and again that the experiment is a launch and a Q test - that is, the survival of the launcher in the passage of the speed of sound. Anything beyond that is a bonus.
    In addition, it was a prototype significantly cheaper than the full Starship.
    Wouldn't it have been better if the separation had been successful and the Starship had gone into orbit around Earth? Of course it is. But that was not part of the experiment.
    Beyond that, there was also no intention to save the parts of the launcher or the Starship in advance - so their explosion does not matter beyond the fact that it was a more epic ending to a very successful experiment.

  4. I will be gentle and say that it was written 'inaccurately'. It would have been much better if the writer knew what he was writing about...

  5. There are paragraphs here that were completely derived from a description of one of the experiments conducted two years ago. What was launched is not SN11, but first stage (booster) number 7, and second stage (starship) number 24. This is definitely the first attempt of a rocket consisting of a first and second stage together to reach a suborbital flight. Anyone who followed Tim Dodd's video (the Everyday Astronaut) on YouTube (he has the best tracking I've seen of the spacecraft in the sky, and a guaranteed ticket on one of the next starships) can clearly see that some of the spacecraft's 33 engines shut down during the test, and some others showed Various anomalies. Since most of them stopped working on one side of the outer circle of the rocket engines, and some stopped working in the central part (which is the one that gives the vectorial thrust), it seems to me that the spaceship started to circle in the sky (or maybe it was spirals) at a height of several tens of kilometers. In the end, activate the self-destruct mechanism, before exceeding the limits of the sector assigned to it.

    In any case, it's a huge achievement, due to the simple fact that the spacecraft even left the launch pad without destroying it, and it will be possible to quickly bring in the next model and launch it as soon as possible. One must remember the development philosophy of Space-X, which is summed up in Elon Musk's statement to his engineers: "If you haven't failed, you haven't gone far enough." The company advocates the rapid development of cheap hardware (spacecraft made of steel, instead of composite materials) and repeated tests until the point of failure, rapid learning and application to the following models. So much so that the development is accelerated until they are some of the models because more advanced models were already ready for launch and testing.

  6. The biological needs of man in space are multiple and expensive. With the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, these will be able to represent with respect and perhaps research better than humans. The defense systems such as heat regulation, food, water production, human waste removal, oxygen production, gravity avoidance, medicines and medical advice, entertainment systems for astronauts, fear of staying too long or urgency in returning the astronauts and much more - all of these will be unnecessary if anosoids or light robots will fill the place of the people successfully. The transportation system will be much easier and cheaper. The SpaceX rockets are unnecessary and so are the dreams of their founder. It would be possible to send generations of anusoids to populate Mars and train it for humans, without endangering a single soul

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