Research, Technology

The Starship spacecraft took off but exploded. When is the next launch?

On the afternoon of April 20, as expected after the transferOn April 17, SpaceX made a second attempt to launch a Super Heavy rocket with a Starship spacecraft. Initially, the launch was supposed to take place at 16:28 Moscow time, but there was a short delay. In the end, Elon Musk's rocket took off to the noise and applause at 16:33 - the structure did not explode at the start and did not fall apart in the air, and everything went just fine. However, at about 38 km altitude, the Starship Super Heavy rocket began spinning uncontrollably in all directions and exploded. Its fragments flew apart and fell to the surface of the ocean. The editors of carefully followed the live broadcast, took screenshots of the most important moments and even saved the launch video - let's look into the details.

SpaceX Starship explodes minutes after launch

SpaceX launches Starship Super Heavy rocket

The launch of the Starship Super Heavy rocket took place inSpaceX's private spaceport near the Texas community of Boca Chica. The live broadcast of the event began about half an hour before the scheduled launch. The company fixed a problem in the pressurization system on the first stage of Starship, due to which the launch on April 17 was canceled, and the weather was suitable for the launch, so the likelihood of another postponement was extremely small.

Starship Super Heavy launch broadcast on April 20

Starship Super Heavy rocket a few minutes before launch

Starship Super Heavy from a different angle

Starship 24 spacecraft close-up

Second spacecraft launch attemptStarship got off to a good start - at 4:33 p.m., she turned on her Raptor rocket engines and began to slowly take to the skies. However, during the broadcast, it was clearly seen that some of the engines did not light up. For this reason, most likely, two and a half minutes after the launch, at an altitude of 38 kilometers, the Starship Super Heavy rocket lost control and began to rotate. Another minute and a half later, an explosion thundered and the structure shattered into pieces.

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Launch of Starship Super Heavy

In the lower left corner, you can see that the Super Heavy rocket did not turn on all the Raptor engines.

Starship spaceship exploded

According to the plan, eight minutes after the launch,The Super Heavy rocket was to separate from the Starship spacecraft and make a hard landing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. At this time, the Starship needed to make an incomplete orbit around the Earth and fall into the waters of the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands about 90 minutes after launch.

But everything did not go according to plan and the rocketexploded, and the cause of the incident is still unknown. It was evident that some of the Raptor's engines failed to fire, causing the rocket to lose control. Details about what happened will become known after the investigation - if something interesting turns up, we will definitely update this article or even write new material. In order not to miss the update and always stay up to date with SpaceX news, subscribe to us on Zen and Telegram.

The moment of explosion of the Starship spacecraft

It is important to note that the Starship explosion cannot be consideredsomething that fails. Elon Musk has previously said that the chances of success are 50/50 and you should not expect much from the launch - you could only guarantee that "no one will be bored." And so it happened.

The main thing is that Starship did not come true during the launchthe worst scenario is that the rocket did not explode on the launch pad. In this case, the Super Heavy rocket and the Starship spacecraft would require careful diagnostics and the next launch could be forgotten for a long time. In addition, the explosion could destroy the launch pad - given that the rocket is filled with 4600 tons of fuel, then it is a huge bomb. The launch pad for the Starship launch is unique, and losing it (even if the company is already building several others) would be a big blow to the SpaceX Starship project.

Be sure to read our comprehensive material on the largest rocket in the world: SpaceX Starship is a rocket that will send people to Mars and the Moon

When is the next Starship launch?

The third attempt to launch the Starship Super Heavy rocket will take place in a few months - such a conclusion, at least, can be drawn from Elon Musk's tweet.

Congratulations to the SpaceX team on an exciting Starship test launch. We learned a lot for the next test run in a few months, the entrepreneur announced.

Elon Musk's tweet about the next Starship launch

Right now, somewhere in the Pacific, floatingthe wreckage of the largest rocket in the history of mankind - the height of Starship Super Heavy is 120 meters. You would think that some people would hunt for them in order to sell for a high price on the Internet. But this is impossible, because in fact this debris is the property of SpaceX, and collecting them can be perceived as theft of property. So hardly anyone will hunt for them.