UPDATED THU, APR 20 2023
SpaceX's giant new rocket, Starship, exploded just minutes after its launch on its first test flight on Thursday. The spacecraft, carrying no people or satellites, crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. The booster was expected to separate from the spacecraft shortly after liftoff, but that did not happen. Instead, the rocket tumbled and eventually exploded four minutes after takeoff.
The Starship spacecraft was supposed to attempt to circle the world before crashing into the Pacific near Hawaii after separating from the booster. SpaceX plans to use Starship to send people and cargo to the moon, but the accident has put the future of the project in doubt.
This was SpaceX's second launch attempt, with the first try being cancelled on Monday due to a frozen booster valve. The company has not yet released any official statement regarding the incident.
The explosion of the giant new rocket raises concerns about the safety and reliability of the Starship project. The incident comes after SpaceX's recent success in sending astronauts to the International Space Station and providing internet services around the world through its Starlink satellite constellation.
SpaceX has been a major player in the space industry, with its reusable Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon spacecraft becoming a popular means of launching payloads into space. The company has also been working on its Starship project for several years, with the aim of sending humans to Mars in the future.
The failure of the Starship test flight is a setback for SpaceX, but the company has a history of overcoming challenges and setbacks. It remains to be seen how this incident will affect the timeline and development of the Starship project.
Writing by Sophie Valkyrie