SpaceX’s spacecraft Starship roared into the sky from the Gulf Coast of Texas on Saturday in a repeat test launch after its first attempt failure. However, few minutes after the launch, SpaceX confirmed that it has lost contact and the data is lost.
The two-stage rocket blasted off from Starbase launch site near Boca Chica in Texas, east of Brownsville. The spaceship was developed as part of the mission to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond.
Reportedly, soon after the two parts of the rocket separated as planned the bottom booster exploded. Later, the top part too got lost.
“We have lost the data from the second stage…we think we may have lost the second stage,” SpaceX’s livestream host John Insprucker was quoted by BBC.
Though the second stage was a failure, the team had called the day as an “incredibly successful” one. According to the SpaceX engineers, the second launch was more successful than the first attempt in April. “Any data gathered from today will be used to influence future modifications to the rocket,” they said.
SpaceX spent the past several months making improvements to both the rocket and launch pad. The Federal Aviation Administration gave the all-clear to fly earlier this week.
The first test flight in April ended in an explosion as the spacecraft blew itself to bits less than four minutes into a planned 90-minute flight. SpaceX had said that some of the Super Heavy’s 33 Raptor engines malfunctioned on ascent, and that the lower-stage booster rocket failed to separate as designed from the upper-stage Starship before the flight was terminated, reported Reuters.
Starship’s towering first-stage booster, propelled by 33 Raptor engines, puts the rocket system’s full height at some 400 feet (122 meters) and produces thrust twice as powerful as the Saturn V rocket that sent the Apollo astronauts to the moon.