SpaceX launched its new giant Starship rocket on Saturday, but lost the booster and then the spacecraft just minutes after liftoff.
The booster took the rocket into space, but communications were lost eight minutes after liftoff in south Texas, and SpaceX reported that the vehicle had failed.
The problem occurred when the engines were about to be ignited to put them into global orbit. A few minutes later, the booster exploded, which, however, had fulfilled its mission of launching the ship into space.
Despite the failure, the approximately eight-minute flight lasted twice as long as the April attempt.
“The brightest thing of the day, the successful liftoff,” stressed SpaceX commentator John Insprucker.
Commentator Kate Tice added: “We’re getting a lot of data, and that’s going to help us improve for our next release.”
SpaceX founder Elon Musk watches from the control center, in the southern tip of Texas near the Mexican border, near Boca Chica Beach. At the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, employees cheered as the Starship lifted off at dawn, but silence reigned as the spacecraft disintegrated and fell into the water. The propellant also fell into the sea.
The Federal Aviation Administration approved the takeoff on Wednesday, confirming that all safety and environmental protection measures had been met.
The intention is to reach an altitude of 240 kilometers (150 miles), enough to send the craft in the shape of a bullet around the Earth to fall in the Pacific near Hawaii, an hour and a half after launch, without making an orbit. complete.
Starship, nearly 400 feet (122 meters) long, is the largest and most powerful rocket ever built.
The first test flight in April lasted four minutes and debris fell into the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, Elon Musk’s company has made many improvements to the booster, its 33 engines and the launch platform.