After a few days of delays, SpaceX completed the first launch of Starship.
Initially, the launch seemed to go off without a hitch, with all 33 engines igniting and launching the world’s heaviest rocket towards space.
However, a few minutes after launch, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation. Otherwise known as an unplanned explosion.
As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 20, 2023
Even with the explosion, the SpaceX team was excited.
It is not uncommon to have explosions or other issues on test flights. In fact, this is why space companies complete uncrewed tests to work out problems and gather data.
Elon Musk took to Twitter to congratulate the SpaceX team and note they have a lot to learn ahead of the next Starship launch in a few months.
Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship!
Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months. pic.twitter.com/gswdFut1dK
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
The explosion happened over the water with no apparent injuries or property damage.
SpaceX will need a new launch licence from the Federal Aviation Administration ahead of its next test. However, we do not expect it to take as long as the first launch licence.