TechSpaceX celebrates successful test, demonstrating Starship's capability

SpaceX celebrates successful test, demonstrating Starship's capability

Starship is getting rid of the Super Heavy booster
Starship is getting rid of the Super Heavy booster
Images source: © SpaceX

4:26 PM EST, November 19, 2023

SpaceX launched the Starship for the second time. Despite a series of explosions, the test flight was not a failure but a success. Stunning close-ups revealed its outstanding performance.

In the second attempt at orbital flight, Starship detached impressively from the ground and lifted off with no issues. The vehicle stage separation went smoothly. An unexpected explosion occurred from the Super Heavy booster, but the second-stage engines allowed for escape. Starship rose to almost 93 miles in altitude before SpaceX decided to abort.

Starship's second orbital flight attempt and launch

Despite the test not being fully successful, SpaceX has reasons to celebrate. They achieved a very successful launch, sharing this moment on social media as the Starship took off from earth.

The efficiency of all Raptor engines was highlighted in the close-ups showing the Starship separating from the launch pad and ascending into the air. The Super Heavy booster's 33 elements were functioning at full power.

Starbase status after the Starship launch

SpaceX observers need not worry about the launch pad. Elon Musk's company may not talk much about it, but this time the platform at Starbase was unscathed during the launch.

The water cooling system, which shielded the launch pad from the Raptor engines, appeared to pass the test.

The separation of the Super Heavy Booster

The moment of separation, where the Super Heavy booster detached from the upper stage, also deserves recognition. The booster's release occurred as the engines ignited on the Starship.

The phase that concluded with the booster’s explosion was still deemed successful. The missing solution in previous tests, the hot staging technique or hot-stage separation, passed the test.

The strategy of igniting the upper-stage engines before shutting down the lower-stage ones proved to be the right move. While not a new approach, this was SpaceX's first time using it. The upper stage of the Starship system reached over 34 thousand miles per hour without issue, distancing itself from the Super Heavy explosion without affecting its flight trajectory.

  • The explosion of the Super Heavy booster after separation from Starship
  • The explosion of the Super Heavy booster after separating from Starship
[1/2] The explosion of the Super Heavy booster after separation from StarshipImages source: © SpaceX

Details SpaceX didn't disclose

In the exciting reports from the Starship trial, information about why the Super Heavy booster exploded and the upper stage's destruction process was absent, which requires further analysis. The booster explosion came as a surprise to SpaceX. mentioned that the Starship received a self-destruction command before the end of combustion. While the detonation was intentional, it occurred more violently than expected.

SpaceX emphasizes that the test's success lies mainly in the knowledge gained. This data will bring us closer to a perfect Starship, with updates on conclusions expected as the analysis of the acquired information progresses.

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