SpaceX Starship Test Ends in Presumed Failure
BOCA CHICA, Texas (Reuters): SpaceX’s uncrewed Starship spacecraft, designed for lunar missions, faced presumed failure minutes after liftoff on Saturday.
The two-stage rocket launched from the Starbase site in Texas, reaching 55 miles above ground on its planned 90-minute spaceflight. However, the Super Heavy first stage exploded over the Gulf of Mexico after detaching, while the core Starship booster lost contact with mission control roughly 10 minutes into the flight.
This marked the second attempt for Starship, following an unsuccessful April launch. The test aimed to propel Starship into space, a crucial step for SpaceX Starship ambition to create a versatile spacecraft for moon missions with NASA and future Mars exploration.
Also Read : Life on Earth might face a suffocating end
Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder, envisions Starship replacing the Falcon 9 rocket for commercial launches. NASA, a key SpaceX customer, has a vested interest in Starship’s success, as it plays a central role in the Artemis program for human spaceflight, aiming to return astronauts to the moon later this decade. The mission intended for Starship to splash down off Hawaii’s coast after reaching space just short of Earth’s orbit. The launch was initially scheduled for Friday but was delayed for a last-minute hardware swap. SpaceX acknowledged malfunctions during the April test, with engines and booster separation issues leading to an early termination.