SpaceX Latest Starship Test Goes Perfectly Except For When It Explodes At The End

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Screenshot: YouTube

SpaceX has been performing launch-flip-and-land tests of its new beyond-Earth-orbit launcher and spacecraft prototype, Starship, since December of last year. That first test ended in a big fireball, because Starship didn’t quite stick the landing. A second test, last month, came closer, but kind of belly-flopped into the ground, ending in another explosion. This time, Starship performed exactly as intended, launching, executing a flip maneuver, and sticking the vertical landing. Then it exploded, because, well, I guess it’s just been decided that’s how these Starship tests end: with big, exciting fireballs.

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With the minor exception of everything blowing up, the test went extremely well for SpaceX, with all three Raptor engines firing as intended, and deactivating in order during landing. Really, the actual test itself went beautifully.

Here’s a video of the successful launch, bellyflop maneuver, and landing:

...and this is video from about ten minutes later:

A methane leak is reported to be a probable cause of the explosion, though SpaceX has yet to issue an official explanation.

Many responses have been focused more on the very non-trivial successful parts of the short test, as they represent a very significant milestone for Starship:

Unsurprisingly for a venture involving Elon Musk, some SpaceX supporters seem affronted that news outlets would even mention something as trivial as a massive explosion:

Illustration for article titled SpaceX Latest Starship Test Goes Perfectly Except For When It Explodes At The End
Screenshot: YouTube
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I mean, come on, my stans. Yes, no question, there’s huge successes here, and SpaceX will have plenty of great data to keep moving ahead.

But you can’t expect nobody to comment on the thing blowing up. Because it blew up.

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Relax, minions of Elon, everyone knows rocket science is, you know, rocket science. It’s not easy, and this kind of thing is to be expected, as are people reacting to it.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

DISCUSSION

Fuck off Torch. The fuck are your bringing stans into this for? Can you not write a single article without including that? No one gives a fuck about whether it exploded or not in terms of how successful the launch was. Elon Musk knows this and no one who gives a single fuck about space flight does either. This is a literal quote from Musk:

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” - Elon Musk

It exploded. That’s perfect! We got the data.

Everydayastronaut, who you mocked in your last Starship launch article and who, I guess, would be a stan to you, thinks the explosion is epic.

https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut

To be clear: TESLA STANS ARE NOT DENYING IT BLEW UP. Thanks for cherry picking the absolute minority of comments to satisfy your “tEsLaMuSk bAd”