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SpaceX Giant Rocket Launched From Texas Explodes in Minutes

by Ryan Lee
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SpaceX, which is run by entrepreneur Elon Musk, attempted to launch its new huge rocket called Starship at South Padre Island near the Mexico border in Texas. The rocket was around 400 feet tall and there weren’t any people or satellites on board. Unfortunately, the launch did not go as planned and the rocket exploded shortly after takeoff and fell into the Gulf of Mexico.

SpaceX’s big Starship just took its first test flight. Pictures show some of the 33 engines on the rocket weren’t working after it launched and reached up to 39 kilometers above ground level. The plan was for the booster to separate from the spacecraft a few minutes after liftoff, but that didn’t happen. The rocket started tumbling in the air and eventually blew up four minutes into the flight and then crashed down into the ocean.

A lot of people were watching from South Padre Island as the spacecraft took off from Boca Chica Beach. Everyone screamed “Go, baby, go!” as it happened. Elon Musk then said on Twitter that it was an exciting test launch and a lot was learned for the next attempt in a few months. After lift-off, the spacecraft was set to travel east and try to make one full circle around the world before it crashed into the Pacific near Hawaii.

Two weeks before the flight, Elon Musk said that the spacecraft had a 50/50 chance of reaching orbit. The company wants to use Starship for taking people and cargo to the moon and even Mars one day. NASA has already reserved a Starship for its next trip on the moon, and rich tourists have booked trips to go around it. Monday’s attempt was cancelled because a valve was frozen.

Starship is a really big and powerful rocket that stands at 394 feet. It’s capable of producing 17 million pounds of thrust, which is way more than what was used in the rockets that NASA created for its moon missions back then, and the ones they’re making now. And even better – Starship can be used multiple times with fast turnaround time, so it helps keep costs low, just like their Falcon rockets do when taking off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. The latest test flight didn’t try to save anything because it wasn’t supposed to.

A few years ago, a very futuristic-looking spacecraft flew really high and only landed successfully once. Now it’s time for the first big launch of the booster with 33 special engines that run on something called methane fuel.

SpaceX has lots more boosters and spaceships ready for test flights in quick succession. They want to use Starships to send satellites into space close to Earth, then maybe even have people travel on them too!

The Health and Science Department of Big Big News has recently received a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. They are now responsible for all future content that they share.

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