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  • Voltaire Staff

SpaceX launches second test flight, loses contact after 10 mins

SpaceX’s Starship, the biggest rocket ever created, on Saturday took off from Texas for its second test flight attempt but lost contact with the base after 10 minutes of taking off.

"The booster experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after stage separation while Starship's engines fired for several minutes on its way to space.

"With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multiplanetary," SpaceX said on X.

John Insprucker, SpaceX's principal integration engineer, during the company’s webcast said, "We have lost the data from the second stage ... what we do believe right now is that the Automated Flight Termination System on the second stage appears to have triggered very late in the burn."

Starship's first launch earlier in the April resulted in a magnificent explosion over the Gulf of Mexico.

As NASA waits for a modified version to be used for moon landings, Elon Musk plans to employ this rocket to land on Mars in the future.

Four minutes after launch on April 20, SpaceX had to blow up Starship as the two stages failed to split. This was the first test flight gone wrong. The rocket burst into a ball of fire and fell into the Gulf of Mexico bellowing a cloud of dust.

The Federal Aviation Administration ultimately gave SpaceX permission to attempt again on Wednesday after a months-long review. However, this was not without opposition from environmental groups, who are suing the agency on the grounds that it did not follow environmental legislation.

The way the spaceship detaches from the booster has changed since the initial launch.

Starship was modified to use "hot Staging" which means the upper stage engines start while it is still attached to the booster. This approach is often used in Russian rockets and can release much more power.

Other changes include improving the vents to reduce the possibility of an explosion. The first launch also caused massive damage to the company and the Starbase launch pad, which is now reinforced with super-strong concrete and a system that sprays water to protect against the immense heat and force of the launch.


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