Starship undergoes “rapid unscheduled disassembly” after launch

  • The integrated Starship and Super Heavy spacecraft managed to liftoff from Starbase this afternoon.
  • Unfortunately the stage separation failed and the vehicle experienced what SpaceX dubbed a RUD or “rapid unscheduled disassembly”.
  • The spacefaring firm said during a livestream that the data gathered from this launch was incredibly valuable.

After delaying the launch earlier this week, SpaceX pushed forward with plans to launch its integrated Starship and Super Heavy Rocket.

The launch was scheduled for 15:30 this afternoon and after a short delay the integrated spacecraft launched from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas.

Everything was going splendidly, Starship was on a nominal path and it survived Max-Q where the maximum amount of dynamic pressure is placed on the vehicle. Unfortunately the separation of the first stage did not go according to plan and Starship along with Super Heavy experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly”. In basic terms, it went boom.

Despite the fireworks, this was a monumental launch for SpaceX and the team will have gathered buckets of data that can be used to improve and inform the next orbital launch attempt.

Much like SpaceX’s Falcon rockets, Starship is designed to be fully reusable and it’s earmarked to be used to ferry humanity to Mars. The spacecraft can carry 150 metric tonnes of cargo hence it’s immense size.

While this launch ended poorly, SpaceX has said that it intends to conduct as many as 100 launches before putting a human onboard.

For now though, this launch was a success despite it’s fiery end and we look forward to seeing the improvements that comes as a result of the learnings from this attempt.


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