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both stages of the Starship rocket exploded after separation, SpaceX announces

The propulsion stage and Starship experienced an “unplanned rapid disassembly” on Saturday, according to the company.


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The launch of the Starship rocket from the Boca Chica base, Texas (United States), on November 18, 2023. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

Both stages of SpaceX’s immense Starship rocket exploded shortly after their successful separation on Saturday, November 18. This was announced by Elon Musk’s company in the live video stream of the second test launch of this rocket, the most powerful ever built, from the SpaceX base in Boca Chica (Texas).

The Super Heavy propulsion stage and its 33 engines, and the Starship, placed above and which gives its name to the entire rocket, experienced a “unplanned rapid disassembly” according to the company’s terms. Starship’s first test flight ended in the spring with a gigantic explosion before the two stages separated.

A second “exciting” test, welcomes SpaceX

On X (formerly Twitter), the SpaceX company welcomed a “exciting second integrated flight test”. “The spacecraft successfully took off thanks to the power of the Super Heavy Booster’s 33 Raptor engines and successfully crossed the stage separation”writes the American company on the social network, also owned by Elon Musk.

Despite the destruction of the rocket, as during Starship’s first test flight, “it is not a failure because there are a lot of things that have been validated today in terms of the modifications that they have undertaken: whether it is the firing point, whether it is the separation. It is “These were major modifications and it worked perfectly. (…) And then, all 33 engines ignited together and everything worked correctly on takeoff.”explained on franceinfo Marie-Ange Sanguy, editor-in-chief of the magazine Space and Exploration.

During this test, “the engines worked very well. These are boxes checked that were not checked the time before. It has progressed compared to the previous time”extended on franceinfo Jean-Luc Dauvergne, journalist at Sky and Space. What will Elon Musk and SpaceX do now? For the billionaire and his company, the goal is now “to rebuild a rocket and break it if necessary. Each time, we learn something, until it works”summarizes the journalist about this “very ambitious rocket”.

Gn Fr tech

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