Ibadan, 20 November 2023. – SpaceX has conducted the second test of its Starship Rocket to launch it into Space in an attempt to evaluate the spacecraft’s ability. The Spacecraft lifted off successfully, but its Super Heavy first stage booster exploded in a fireball over the Gulf of Mexico after crucially maneuvering to separate from its core Starship stage. Despite the booster’s explosion, Starship continued its trip to space – crossing the 100km mark – before a SpaceX company broadcaster confirmed that mission control suddenly lost contact with the vehicle.
This test is the second of its kind after SpaceX tested the Starship Rocket for the first time in April 2023. However, the test ended in an explosion after the launch vehicle failed to complete stage separation, triggering an automated self-destruct command that detonated the rocket over the Gulf of Mexico. However, SpaceX has cautioned that Starship’s test flight was meant to collect data for future boosted trips.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which supervises commercial launch sites, also confirmed the mishap that “resulted in a loss of the vehicle. Nevertheless, the Administration will oversee a SpaceX-led investigation into the testing failure and will need to approve SpaceX’s plan to prevent it from happening again. Furthermore, SpaceX noted, “With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary.”
Carissa Christensen, CEO of space analytics firm BryceTech, commented, “More things were successful than in the previous test, including some new capabilities that were significant. There is not money and patience for unlimited tests, but for a vehicle that is so different and so big, two, three, four, five tests are not excessive”