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The story of Elon Musk’s SpaceX starship failing to reach space

MidLand, Jakarta – Spaceship SpaceX The unmanned spacecraft, developed to take astronauts to the moon and beyond, failed in space shortly after liftoff on Saturday, US time or Sunday, November 19, 2023 WIB. This shortened both tests, but managed to surpass the previous attempt which ended with a bang.

Citing Reuters, the two-stage rocket plane launched from Elon Musk’s company’s Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas helped lift the Starship spacecraft 90 miles (148 km) above the ground on a mission to planned 90-minute trial to space and back.

But the rocket’s Super Heavy first stage booster, despite successfully performing the crucial maneuver to separate from the Starship’s main stage, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico shortly after detachment, according to a SpaceX webcast.

Meanwhile, the main stage of the Starship launched further into space, but a few minutes later the company announcer said that SpaceX mission control suddenly lost contact with the vehicle.

“We lost the data from the second phase. “We think we may have lost the second stage,” SpaceX engineer and livestream host John Insprucker said. He added that engineers believe an automatic stop-flight order was activated to destroy the rocket, although the reasons were unclear.

About eight minutes into the test mission, the camera shot tracking the spacecraft’s booster appeared to show an explosion, indicating that the craft had failed at that point. The rocket’s height was 91 miles (148 km).

The launch was the second attempt to fly the spacecraft mounted on a massive super-heavy rocket, following an attempt in April that ended in an explosive failure about four minutes after liftoff.

The US Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial launch sites, confirmed that the accident “resulted in the loss of the vehicle”, adding that no injuries or property damage were reported.

The agency said it will oversee a SpaceX-led investigation into the test failure and that it will have to approve SpaceX’s plans to prevent something similar from happening again.

The mission’s goal is to launch Starship from Texas land and into space before reaching orbit, then diving into Earth’s atmosphere to land off the coast of Hawaii. The launch was scheduled for Friday, but was pushed back a day due to a last-minute flight control hardware swap.

Test failure

Starship’s failure to meet all of its test goals could represent a setback for SpaceX. The FAA must review the investigation into the company’s failure and revise its application for a new launch permit. SpaceX officials complain that such regulatory reviews take too long.

On the other hand, the failure of a program that SpaceX expected to cost about $2 billion this year is consistent with the company’s risk-tolerant culture that embraces rapid testing and new prototype tests to accelerate design improvements and engineering.

“Many results were successful compared to previous tests, including some significant new features,” said Carissa Christensen, CEO of space analytics firm BryceTech.

“There is neither money nor patience for endless testing, but for very different and large vehicles, two, three, four, five tests are not excessive,” Christensen said.

Announcement

At an altitude of about 43 miles (70 km), the missile system performed a critical maneuver to separate the two stages – something it had failed to do in the last test – with the Super Heavy booster set to dive into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile the core, the Booster spaceship, hurtles further into space using its own engines.

However, the Super Heavy booster exploded moments later, followed by the same level explosion as the Starship. SpaceX in a post on its social media platform

A successful test would mark a major step toward achieving SpaceX’s ambition of producing a multipurpose spacecraft capable of sending humans and cargo to the Moon by the end of this decade for NASA, and eventually to Mars.

SpaceX’s worker safety culture underlying its rapid development ethos is under intense scrutiny from lawmakers after a Reuters investigation documented hundreds of injuries at the rocket company’s U.S. production and launch sites.

The clock is running

NASA, SpaceX’s largest customer, has a large stake in the success of Starship, which the US space agency hopes will play a key role in landing humans on the Moon in the coming years under its successor, the human spaceflight Artemis. Apollo mission.

NASA chief Bill Nelson, who has made competition with China a key requirement for speed on Artemis, said Saturday’s Starship test was “an opportunity to learn and then fly again.”

Musk — SpaceX’s founder, CEO and chief engineer — sees Starship eventually replacing the company’s Falcon 9 rocket as the core of its launch business that has launched most of the world’s satellites and other commercial payloads into space.

“The clock is ticking,” said Chad Anderson, a SpaceX investor and managing partner at venture capital firm Space Capital. “NASA has a timeline where they will try to get to the moon, and this is their primary vehicle to get there. So SpaceX has to do it on a timeline.”

Jaret Matthews, CEO of lunar exploration startup Astrolabe that has reserved space for future Starship flights, visited SpaceX’s Starbase site earlier this year and said he expects the company to quickly resume testing after the flight on Saturday.

Although it is believed that the pace is largely determined by reviews DO and Starship’s technical failure rate. “They are already preparing the next number of vehicles in the factory,” she said. “I think people will be surprised by the rhythms that emerge next year.”

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