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SpaceX Starship Launched But Fails To Reach Space

By Keith Cowing
April 20, 2023
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SpaceX Starship Launched But Fails To Reach Space
Starship Launch

SpaceX finally launched its Starship/Super Heavy Booster combo today only to see it fly a short distance before its mission ended prematurely.

Today’s Starship launch window was 62 minutes long and opened at 8:28 am CDT / 9:28 am EDT / 1328 UTC. At T-40 SpaceX called a hold in the count while they dealt with some slower than nominal landing issues in the first stage and an issue in the second stage. Once that was resolved with a minute or two they resumed the count and then launched.

The immense rocket moved slowly off the pad much like a Saturn V. As it ascended it could be seen that some of the engines were not firing. At the point at which first stage shut down and staging was to occur the vehicle stayed together and started to roll. Eventually the flight termination system was commanded to destroy the vehicle

SpaceX makes these vehicles in a production line fashion utilizing continuous improvement. As such they can churn out new vehicles in a very short period of time at a small incremental cost. As soon as today’s launch failure is understood and corrected for it is likely that SpaceX will ty again – and again until everything works.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.