SpaceX Starship megarocket launches on second-ever test flight, explodes in “rapid unscheduled disassembly”


“SpaceX’s giant Starship has met another explosive end. SpaceX’s next-generation megarocket — the largest ever built — launched on its second-ever test flight today (Nov. 18), a highly anticipated jaunt that took the giant vehicle to space for the first time, but it didn’t last long. Shortly after stage separation, the rocket’s massive Super Heavy booster exploded, with the Starship upper-stage vehicle itself detonating before reaching its target altitude in what SpaceX called a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly.’ … The Starship upper stage continued flying for a short time after stage separation. SpaceX had hoped to establish signal acquisition with the spacecraft at its target altitude of about 150 miles (250 kilometers). But telemetry from the vehicle was lost about eight minutes after liftoff, near the end of its own burn after stage separation, with SpaceX mission managers, including CEO and founder Elon Musk, eagerly awaiting updates in a live webcast.” (11/18/23)