SpaceX’s Starship – The Giant Leap that Shook the World!

On March 14, 's launched successfully for the third time, proving its status as the world's most powerful rocket. The event, covered in live, high-definition footage, demonstrated considerable progress despite some challenges.

The Launch

The , carried out under the approval of the US administration received less than 24 hours prior, took off from SpaceX's site in Starbase, Boca Chica, Texas at 14:25 Paris time. The SuperHeavy booster (B10) ignited its 33 engines, leading to the Starship SN28 achieving flight. As the first phase of flight went flawlessly, the rocket reached a speed of over 5,700 km/h at an altitude of 67km.

Mid-flight Operations

At this point in the journey, six of the Starship engines were ignited while 30 of the SuperHeavy's 33 were turned off. The Starship separated from the first stage, continuing its flight while Booster 10 returned to the Texas coast. The SuperHeavy, however, made an unstable return, crashing into the ocean at a high speed. Despite this, data from the event was captured for analysis and future tests.

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The Starship’s Journey

With the Starship now on its own, it reached the edge of space, achieving speeds of almost 26,500 km/h. This trajectory was not a full orbital flight, instead passing over the Atlantic, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. The Starship reached an altitude of 235km, spending 30 minutes in a vacuum.

Test Procedures in Space

During the flight, a fuel transfer test took place between two tanks. has acknowledged this test, with SpaceX referring to it only as an “initialization”. For safety reasons, the Starship did not reach a full orbit. This was in part due to the engine's failure to ignite in the vacuum of space, something that will be addressed in future tests.

Technical Problems

Despite its numerous successes, the flight was not without its technical issues. For example, the Starlink satellite ejection bay opened successfully, but the Starship failed to reignite its engines and experienced some orientation thruster problems. After appearing to stabilize, contact was lost at an altitude of 65km, possibly due to issues with heat tiles, control, or other problems.

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Investigation and Future Prospects

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun investigating SpaceX in light of the issues faced during the flight. Despite these setbacks, the flight is seen as progress and a complete success for a “traditional” orbital launcher. Still, improvements are needed in the areas of reusability and . The Starship's eventual aim of reaching orbit seems feasible, making the reality of Starship more palpable.

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