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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Another ‘Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly’ for Elon Musk

Another ‘Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly’ for Elon Musk

SpaceX’s Starship blew up again, and NASA’s moon clock is ticking.

By Marina Koren, The Atlantic

The second liftoff of Starship, SpaceX’s giant new rocket-and-spaceship system, went beautifully this morning, the fire of the engines matching the orange glow of the sunrise in South Texas. The spaceship soared over the Gulf Coast, with all 33 engines in the rocket booster pulsing. High in the sky, the vehicles separated seamlessly—through a technique that SpaceX debuted during this flight—and employees let out wild cheers. The booster soon exploded, but the flight could survive that. What mattered was that Starship was still flying. It could still coast along the edge of space, and then plunge back to Earth, crashing into the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of Hawaii, as SpaceX planned.

But then, as SpaceX mission control waited to hear a signal from Starship, there was only silence…

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