After a several-year wait, SpaceX finally launched its interplanetary rocket Starship atop the Super Heavy booster. The rocket is a massive 5,000 tonnes and for a few seconds after 30 of the 33 raptor engines ignited, the rocket did not move. Eventually, it began its slow ascension. The rocket managed to reach an altitude of 39 Km before SpaceX attempted a flip and the detaching of the Super Heavy booster. This is where things went awry.
As the rocket performed the flips, it lost about 9 Km in altitude before going up in a fiery blaze, thus ending the mission. SpaceX has many failures like this but it usually does a good job of taking note of what happened and rectifying the issue – after all, it’s private money on the line and not an endless stream of tax revenue.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk congratulated his team on the “exciting test launch of Starship” and said there will be another test launch in just another couple of months.
If you don’t normally follow this type of news, SpaceX wants to build a rocket that can ferry people back and forth to the Moon and Mars. In a trailer video from several years ago, Starship was also demonstrated as a fancy airplane that could transport people around the Earth in a much quicker time than any jet. It’s unclear if Earth-to-Earth transportation is still on the table in 2023, however.