The second test flight of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship rocket had significant progress despite the explosions in the demonstration on Saturday. It successfully uncrewed from the southern Texas coast and separated from its booster before it detonated over the Gulf of Mexico a few moments later.
Just inspected the Starship launch pad and it is in great condition!
No refurbishment needed to the water-cooled steel plate for next launch.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2023
The spacecraft is designed to potentially transport humans to the Moon and Mars using reusable rockets one day. While the aim of reaching orbit and splashing down into the Pacific Ocean was not met, SpaceX emphasized the significance of the data obtained from the test that would be crucial towards improving the Starship model.
However, SpaceX said, “Starship successfully lifted off under the power of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy Booster and made it through a successful stage separation”.
While the booster suffered an unexpected disassemble after its boost-back combustion, SpaceX emphasized the need to learn from these tests to improve the reliability of Starship as part of the overall objective of making life on Earth multi-planetary.
This weekend’s launch showed significant progress compared to the April test flight, which ended in an explosion because the ship and booster failed to separate. While working at the White House, Phil Larson, a former space adviser, and a contributor to SpaceX communications, pointed out that engineering includes learning, improving the design, and fast tests.
The FAA issued a statement terming the test on Saturday as a “mishap”. The FAA stated that the anomaly did not lead to injuries or damage to public property. The agency released statements saying it was supervising the mishap investigation, and the company should conform to its FAA-approved scheme as well as other laws.
After inspection, the launch pad was in good condition, Musk said in a post on X the site formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday. With regard to the water-cooled steel plate, he pointed out that no refurbishment was needed for the next launch. Musk also took time to congratulate the SpaceX team and contractors for coming up with a strong system very quickly.