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SpaceX prepares for second Starship test flight after the first exploded

Poppy Bilderbeck

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| Last updated 

SpaceX prepares for second Starship test flight after the first exploded

Featured Image Credit: SpaceX/Twitter

Elon Musk is having another go at launching SpaceX's Starship rocket.

In April earlier this year, SpaceX launched its first Starship rocket from its Starbase test facility in Boca Chica, Texas, however, it didn't last too long once it got into the air.

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Today (18 November), the remade and upgraded 'world's most powerful launch vehicle ever developed' is set to be launched for a second time. So, what can we expect?

SpaceX's first Starship launch vehicle lifted off on 20 April at 9.33am EDT (1.33pm GMT).

While it successfully launched from SpaceX's Starbase test facility, it exploded four minutes into its first orbital test flight - it would probably be a good time to mention the spacecraft didn't have any crew inside.

All that remained of the impressive ship was scatters of dust and debris all over the area and a crater in Starship's launch pad, according to Space.com.

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Dr Phil Metzger from the University of Central Florida told the BBC at the time: "The rocket exhaust went through cracks in the launchpad's concrete.

"It was super hot, it was approximately 2,000C, and it vaporised the groundwater."

The launch was technically a success - everything after that was not. Credit: SpaceX
The launch was technically a success - everything after that was not. Credit: SpaceX

Thankfully, the spacecraft has since been remade and SpaceX engineers revealed the latest Starship rocket has undergone 'more than a thousand changes,' as per the BBC.

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SpaceX's website states: "The second flight test will debut a hot-stage separation system and a new electronic Thrust Vector Control (TVC) system for Super Heavy Raptor engines, in addition to reinforcements to the pad foundation and a water-cooled steel flame deflector, among many other enhancements."

The lift off's pad has had a steel plate-structure added to it to try and make sure the rocket won't cause a crater this time.

Oh, and it will hopefully lessen the noise too, which is always good for easing relations with neighbours living nearby to the Starbase test facility.

The second test flight is set to go ahead today. Credit:  TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
The second test flight is set to go ahead today. Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
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Similarly to the first launch, the Starship spacecraft won't have any crew on board, however, in the future, it's hoped it will become 'a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond,' as per SpaceX's website.

Lift off for the second try is set to begin from 7am CT (1pm GMT) within a 20-minute window.

And the aim of this second mission? Well, it remains the same as the first, to try and send the top part of the spacecraft - the Ship - around the Earth one full time.

As the saying goes, first is the worst, second is the best, so hopefully the upcoming launch goes a bit more successfully.

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You can watch a live webcast of the flight test on SpaceX's website or X account.

Topics: Technology, Elon Musk, Space, SpaceX, US News, World News

Poppy Bilderbeck
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