SpaceX Starship disintegrates after completing most of third test flight

SpaceX Starship disintegrates after completing most of third test flightWhat happened:

          SpaceX’s Starship rocket disintegrated during its return to Earth after completing most of its third test flight. The rocket was designed for future crewed missions to the moon and beyond.

Key Events:

  • Starship completed nearly the entire test flight successfully, getting farther than previous attempts.
  • Communication was lost with Starship during re-entry at hypersonic speed, moments before planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean.
  • Live video feed showed a reddish glow around the spacecraft from re-entry friction before contact was lost.
  • SpaceX confirmed the spacecraft was “lost” due to stress during re-entry.

Engineering Goals Achieved:

  • Successful stage separation during ascent.
  • Test of Starship’s payload door operation in orbit.
  • Transfer of rocket propellant between tanks during spaceflight.

Unmet Objectives:

  • SpaceX skipped re-ignition of one of Starship’s engines while coasting in orbit, a key milestone for future success.
  • The Super Heavy rocket booster was not flown back to Earth, which is part of SpaceX’s strategy for reusing launch boosters.


  • Despite the failure, progress was made in developing a spacecraft crucial for SpaceX’s satellite launch business and NASA’s moon program.
  • SpaceX plans to conduct at least six more test flights this year, pending regulatory approval.

Future Plans:

  • SpaceX is required to investigate the failure and submit findings to the Federal Aviation Administration before the next flight.
  • Starship is crucial for SpaceX’s goal of crewed missions to Mars and replacing the Falcon 9 rocket for commercial launches.


     The incident, while a setback, is part of SpaceX’s risk-tolerant engineering culture aimed at pushing spacecraft to failure to refine and improve them for future missions.

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