SpaceX tested its next generation rocket on Thursday, which is designed to be used for missions to Mars and the Moon. The test ended in an explosion that was cheered by employees gathered to view a livestream.
The rocket was launched without a crew for four minutes. However, the separation between the booster and the spacecraft atop it appeared to have failed. Some of the 33 engines on the booster did not appear to ignite.
The rocket began to fall downwards before exploding.
It was not known immediately what caused the explosion or the failure to separate the rocket, but the blast-off of the rocket already made the test a success.
SpaceX tweeted soon after the test: “As if this flight test wasn’t exciting enough, Starship experienced an unscheduled rapid disassembly just before stage separation.” “Teams continue to review the data and prepare for our next flight test.”
The rocket, the most powerful one ever created, will play a major role in NASA’s Artemis Program which aims to land humans on the Moon in 2025.
SpaceX launched its Starship spacecraft on Thursday for a planned flight of 1 1/2 hours. Starship was designed to be a reusable spacecraft capable of transporting massive cargo loads.
The company stressed that the test is an early step and clearing the launchpad would be considered as a success.
Congratulations @SpaceX on an exciting Starship test launch! Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, tweeted. “Learned a great deal for the next test launch coming up in a few month.”
This test flight represents the largest step forward in SpaceX’s efforts to develop reusable spacecrafts that will fuel space exploration beyond present limitations. The rocket and spacecraft were designed to be recovered, but Thursday’s test was to have them fall into the sea.
This test collects data about the performance of the system, which will be crucial for future development.
This story is in progress. Please check back often for updates.