Elon Musk’s SpaceX suffered a setback as its Starship rocket exploded in mid-air over the Gulf of Mexico shortly after takeoff from a launch pad in South Texas. While the spacecraft failed to enter orbit, it was not a fatal blow as Musk had cautioned that several attempts may be needed for the test flight to succeed.
The Starship was intended to reach high enough speeds to enter orbit before crashing in the Pacific Ocean close to Hawaii. This comes after the first launch was canceled at the last minute due to a pressurization issue in the first stage, reported CNN.
The scheduled launch of the most powerful rocket ever built had to be scrubbed after engineers were unable to resolve the pressurization issue in the Super Heavy booster. Despite their attempts, today’s launch had to be canceled, according to CNN.
The countdown clock had less than 10 minutes on it, with SpaceX engineer John Insprucker saying they would work to determine when they can make the next attempt.
SpaceX is letting the countdown clock run down a bit more and run through a bit of a rehearsal for what they will do on the next launch attempt.
They do have a launch window reserved for Tuesday opening at 7 am CT (8 am ET), but recycling will force them to wait a bit longer at least 48 hours, reported CNN.
They will put the rocket through what’s called a ‘recycle’ — taking out the super-chilled fuel and preparing for another attempt.
It was SpaceX’s first attempt to launch its Starship rocket after years of testing.
CEO Elon Musk described Starship as the vehicle that underpins SpaceX’s founding purpose — sending humans to Mars for the first time.
The inaugural flight test will complete nearly one full lap of the planet, ending with a splashdown off Hawaii.