On April 20, SpaceX’s Starship spaceship, which was planned to take passengers to the Moon and Mars, crashed minutes after liftoff during a test flight in Texas.
The spaceship “experienced multiple engines out” during its ascent, then “lost altitude and began to tumble,” according to SpaceX, before the “flight terminating system was commanded on both the booster and the ship.” Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX, has now said that the spaceship might be ready for restart in “six to eight weeks.”
SpaceX, a privately held company, has been constructing its gigantic Starship in South Texas for years. The recyclable rocket is expected to assist NASA in returning people to the lunar for the very first time since the Apollo period, as the business expands its network of Starlink communication satellites. Musk hopes to use the rocket to take humans to Mars in the future.
Previously this year, SpaceX was poised to receive $750 million in fundraising efforts valued at $137 billion. However, Musk now believes that the company will not require extra money to complete the Starship program this year.
What happened to the initial launch?
The spacecraft and launcher fell apart over the Gulf of Mexico, according to the outlet, when the spacecraft’s flight termination or self-destruct mechanism was engaged.
The flight termination mechanism, according to the billionaire, would need to be re-certified since it took longer than expected to blow up the rocket, “ensuring it didn’t careen off course.” This might effect the amount of time it takes the business to get a new Starship off the ground.
The inquiry is being overseen by the US government’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). SpaceX is not permitted to launch other Starship vehicle until that review is completed.
It is also unclear how long it would take. “We will not speculate on timelines.” According to the publication, the FAA stated that “safety will dictate the timeline.”
According to CNN, the billionaire claimed on Saturday evening on Twitter Spaces that when the engines of Starship, 30 out of 33 of which fired on for the flying test, achieved “full thrust,” it “probably shattered the concrete.” Mr Musk went on to say that he was “glad to report that the pad damage is actually quite small,” and that it would take “six to eight weeks” to put the necessary infrastructure in place for another launch.
“The outcome was roughly in (line) with what I expected and, perhaps slightly exceeded my expectations,” the company’s CEO stated, according to the website in question.
What is the plan ahead by SpaceX?
The US aerospace agency was not directly engaged in the Starship flight test, but it has a significant stake in the ultimate success of Starship. NASA is banking on Starship to ferry astronauts to the moon surface on the Artemis III mission, which is set to launch in 2025.
“I have asked so that I could report to you today that SpaceX is still estimating that it will take at least two months to rebuild the launchpad,” Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, said at a budget hearing before a House committee on Thursday. “And it will take about two months for their second vehicle to be ready for launch.”
The incident was classified as a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” – the company’s euphemism for an explosive catastrophe.
The launch’s success would be a huge boost for both SpaceX and the US space program. Under NASA’s Artemis III mission, a variant of the Starship has been charged with getting humans on the lunar surface for the first time in over 50 years. The mission might begin as early as 2025.
Elon Musk also praised the work of Russian engineers in the 1960s and 1970s who hoped to place a person on the surface of the Moon using a N1 rocket on Saturday. In regards to power and engine construction, Musk claims that N1 is extremely comparable to Starship. According to the businessman, his budget for Starship to successfully fly cargo to the Moon is around $2 billion.