ORLANDO, Fla. - The third time’s a charm for the SpaceX Starship, kind of. The Starship launched and landed safely in Texas on Wednesday, but exploded minutes later, hurling it into the air.
This comes after the last two prototypes slammed into the ground in Texas and exploded back in December and just last month
"We don’t know yet why it went 'boom' once it landed, but they’ll figure that out."
Dale Ketcham, a vice president for Space Florida, said it doesn’t look great, but this is pretty typical stuff in the world of space.
"They’ve had a number of failures, but it is a test range there in Texas and that’s what you do at test ranges," said Ketcham.
He called Wednesday’s launch a success in that it solved the problems of the last two Starship launches because ultimately it did land safely. It was only afterward that it blew up. Now there’s just a new kink to work out.
"They got done what they needed to get done on this test and they’ll declare it a success. Scrub the data, learn what they need to learn and fix it, go to the next one."
Ketcham said Elon Musk can afford the blow-ups, and the next few test Starships are likely ready to go.
The ultimate goal is to send these to the moon and Mars, and Ketcham has little doubt even these fiery Starships will eventually get there.
"At the end of the day when the smoke cleared and the vehicle was vertical, everybody was pretty happy," said Ketcham.
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