Well that wasn’t supposed to happen…but it was pretty cool to watch.
SpaceX attempted to launch their 500-ft Starship, the world’s most powerful rocket, on a test mission this morning from the company’s test facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
But just minutes after liftoff, the unmanned spacecraft exploded into a ball of flames in midair – to the amazement of onlookers.
They hilariously called it a “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” which, from here on out, will be my new favorite expression:
The rocket, carrying nearly 10 million pounds of liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas fuel, was the biggest ever made, and according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, had twice the thrust of Saturn V, the NASA rocket that flew nine space crews to the moon.
Today’s launch was actually the second attempt to get Starship airborne, after the first launch was scrubbed on Monday due to a technical issue.
Even though things didn’t go according to plan, Musk had set expectations low for the attempt:
“So I guess I would just like to set expectations low. If we get far enough away from the launch pad before something goes wrong, then I think I would consider that to be a success. Just don’t blow up the launch pad.”
After the explosion, SpaceX sent out a series of tweets congratulating the team who made the launch possible:
SpaceX eventually plans to use Starship to send humans back to the moon, and eventually Mars. And space tourists with money to blow have already begun reserving seats on future SpaceX flights.
But after today’s launch, I’m probably going to hold off on booking my ticket until they get the kinks worked out…