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Starship Takes Flight
Read why humanity just took its first step toward Mars
Last Thursday, on 4/20, SpaceX launched its first Starship test flight.
Starship is the largest and most powerful rocket ever to fly.
Did humanity just take its first step to Mars? Let’s go through the sights and sounds from this historic day with an eye toward our future among the stars.
On Thursday, 4/20, SpaceX performed Starship’s fully integrated test flight.
Excited crowds lined the beach on South Padre Island, TX to watch the launch.
At 9:28 AM, the rocket cleared the launch tower.
It flew for four minutes, passing through a stage known as Max Q—the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the rocket.
Several of Starship’s 33 raptor engines failed throughout the flight, beginning on the launch pad.
Despite the engines going out, Starship reached an apogee of 39 km above the Gulf of Mexico, where the rocket failed to separate from its Super Heavy booster.
SpaceX operators triggered Flight Termination System and Starship performed what SpaceX calls a “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.”
By self-destructing the rocket over the ocean, SpaceX ensured it did not steer off course and cause damage on the ground.
After the mission finished, data started to come in.
Damage to the engines began during ignition, which roasted the launch pad.
SpaceX plans to address the launch pad by building a water-cooled steel plate under the mount.
Despite the rocket’s explosion, SpaceX considers the mission a success.
In a Subscriber Twitter Spaces last Sunday, Elon said, “I would consider anything that does not result in the destruction of the launch mount itself … to be a win.”
Spectacular blowups are par for the course at SpaceX.
Failure is built into SpaceX’s rapid iterative process, which has allowed the company to lap its competitors.
Thursday’s unmanned launch was the first of many test flights before Starship carries people to the moon, and later, Mars.
At 390 feet tall and over 5000 tons, Starship is the largest rocket in history.
Never has an object so large been sent so high in the air.
In the bigger picture, Starship’s mission is important because it kindles a shared belief that we as a species are destined for something greater.
Space exploration unites people across differences in a collective enterprise of sending humanity to the stars.
For all these reasons and more, Starship’s first launch is cause for celebration.
Thursday’s launch was another domino in the cascade that will make humans a multi-planet species.
It’s fitting the Starship went up in smoke on 4/20, which will forever after be known as the day the rocket first launched that takes humanity to Mars.
Congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX for this historic first step!
Dogey Treats: News Bites
GEC’s Samuel Reid tweeted that he original Doge meme will be depicted in Earth orbit on the Moxy-1 satellite and in lunar orbit on Doge-1 (NET Q3 2023). He described them as the “first memes in space.” He also tweeted about a Orbital Debris Analysis Report (ODAR) Addendum submitted for the Doge-1 mission.
European Parliament featured a Dogecoin prominently in a tweet about new crypto regulations.
Elon liked a tweet with a video of a Doge and Twitter blue bird.
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