SpaceX’s megarocket lost during re-entry after successful test flight

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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SpaceX Starlink Starship megarocket failed
Rep. Image | Courtesy: SpaceX

Elon Musk’s much-anticipated test flight of the “world’s most powerful rocket,” the Starship soared to unprecedented heights, but got lost eventually as it attempted re-entry into the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

The Starship rocket, the largest ever built, took off from Texas and flew over the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike its previous two test flights, this time, the Elon Musk-led company’s mega-rocket did not explode, and it inserted the spacecraft into orbit. But after that, SpaceX confirmed that it lost the spacecraft.

The Starship rocket went farther than it did during the previous two flights but SpaceX said that it lost communication with the spacecraft when it was reentering Earth’s atmosphere. It was supposed to splash down in the Indian Ocean but it most likely disintegrated or broke apart due to the stress of re-entry.

SpaceX Starship

SpaceX’s Starship is a next-generation spacecraft. It is designed for a variety of missions, including crewed missions to Mars, lunar exploration, satellite deployment, and even point-to-point travel on Earth. The Starship is intended to be fully reusable, with the ability to carry both crew and cargo to destinations in Earth orbit and beyond.

SpaceX Starship
Courtesy: NASA

But it would be wrong to consider the third test flight a complete failure. SpaceX adopted a rapid trial-and-error approach to accelerate development, and this strategy has brought it many successes in the past. The company was able to achieve many of its goals from the last two trials.

“In its third test launch, the fully stacked configuration of the Starship was SpaceX’s most ambitious one yet. The objectives included opening and closing Starship’s payload door to test its ability to deliver satellites into orbit, as per the reports.

After two explosions in previous launches, this relative success brings the starship one step closer to being ready for the upcoming missions.

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