(Spanish CNN) — Despite blasting off within minutes of liftoff Thursday, SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, met many of the company’s goals with its test launch. For this reason, rather than considering this incident as a failure, Elon Musk’s company is focusing on what its next challenges are.
“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help improve Starship reliability as SpaceX continues to work to make life multiplanetary,” the company said in a statement. A tweet After the explosion.
Similarly, Musk tweeted that the release allowed the team to “learn a lot” ahead of the next release, which he expected to be in a few months.
Greetings @SpaceX The team at Starship’s exciting test launch!
I learned a lot for the next trial launch in a few months. pic.twitter.com/gswdFut1dK
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
In this sense, this Thursday’s test flight represents only a small step in the context of a larger project. Before the Starship can complete its first major mission or carry astronauts, SpaceX has significant technical challenges to overcome.
The first step? Learn how to put a spacecraft into orbit. According to the company, Thursday’s test flight was only intended to reach near-orbital speeds and partially orbit the planet.
Space’s vision also includes the planned 2025 Artemis III mission, which will carry astronauts from a single spacecraft to the lunar surface, serve as a lunar lander, and serve as a lunar lander. On the ground, the company had to prove that the rocket was capable of reaching the moon.
The vehicle’s enormous mass will force the company to refuel the spacecraft while still in Earth orbit. It can take more than a dozen launches—with propellant alone—for a starship lunar lander to get enough fuel to cover the 240,000-mile distance between Earth and the Moon.
This is in the long run, because in the short term if SpaceX wants to do a new launch, it will need another launch license approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. It is expected to be easier to get the approval for the exam this Thursday than it cost.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson One of Starship’s challenges, he explained to CNN, is that it will eventually need to refuel while in orbit. “They have a long way to go but it’s a good start,” he said. In fact, the official agreed with Musk He called the publication a “real achievement”.
“It looks like they got through the first stage of this big monster rocket. It’s a real accomplishment. We’ll try to get a report on what happened to the second stage, but I’m very excited that they made it this far,” Nelson told CNN.
In addition, he made it clear that this Jupiter launch and subsequent explosion will not affect the general objective of getting people to the moon in the coming years. “That’s how SpaceX works. They try these things. They really try, and sometimes it blows up,” he said.
At the time Starship was presented by Musk and SpaceX as being responsible for taking humans to Mars and playing a key role in NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon for the first time in half a century.
With information from Jackie Wattles and Adrian Vogt