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Morning JAVA: SpaceX Successfully Launches Largest Vehicle Into Space

Morning JAVA: SpaceX Successfully Launches Largest Vehicle Into Space


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Third SpaceX Starship Launch Finally Reaches Outer Space

 

After two failed attempts last year to launch rockets each with its own Starship attached (IFT-1 & IFT-2), yesterday morning at 9:25 am, SpaceX successfully launched a third Starship vehicle into space from South Texas. This wasn't just any ol' rocket. With the reusable first stage (Super Heavy Booster) and second stage (Starship #28), together the vehicle stands upright at an amazing 394 feet. The first stage has an incredible 33 Raptor engines, giving the vehicle 16.7 million pounds of thrust, making it the most powerful launch vehicle ever.

When sitting on the launch pad, fully fueled and ready to go, the launch vehicle weighs 5,000 tons or 11,000,000 pounds with a diameter of 30 feet. Starship itself is 164 feet long.

SpaceX made history yesterday morning. The dimensions of the launch vehicle, which will be able to carry up to 100 passengers into space one day, make it the largest ever successful launch into orbital space. Elon Musk announced on X that "Starship reached orbital velocity. Congratulations SpaceX team!!". I can imagine he was doubly excited since the launch occured on the 22nd anniversary of SpaceX's founding in 2002.

Some of the remarkable achievements made:

The upper stage of Starship reached orbital space.

Successfully testing a payload door by opening and closing.

Successfully transferred 10 metric tons of liquid oxygen propellant from one tank to another during flight (for transferring rocket fuel on future missions).

One test not achieved:

The re-ignition of Starship's Raptor engines. This was one of two tests SpaceX hoped to complete for vehicle qualification. The other test, the transfer of fuel from one tank to another, was successful.

Below is an excellent video of the rocket launch.

SpaceX plans to use Starship for future missions to the moon, as early as 2026, in conjunction with NASA's Artemis 3 mission. Starship is also planned to be used for future missions to Mars as it is Elon Musk's dream to send people to Mars.

While yesterday's launch was a success, both the first and second stages were lost. Less than 3 minutes into the flight, the 165 foot long first stage separated. It appears the booster's engines failed to ignite and it was subsequently lost somewhere over the Gulf Of Mexico. Starship continued on its flight path and about 47 minutes into the flight, came back down again for a re-entry burn. On-board cameras showed the heat tiles light up fire red.

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Starlink communications attempted to keep the signal from Starship going during re-entry, also a first. Remember the good ol' days when a capsule or shuttle returned to Earth and there would be a few minutes of silence during re-entry? We'd have to wait until cameras on the ground could see them coming down in one piece or not.

Everything looked good as the ship maneuvered itself correctly. Then, the signal began to break up and cut off entirely. It's believed that soon after, Starship 28 broke up with its remains splashing down somewhere over the Indian Ocean. Below is the full clip, from beginning to end.

A private Japanese company, Space One, attempted to launch 'Kairos' just the day or so before the Starship launch. Only 5 seconds after liftoff, onboard computers detected the rocket going astray and self-destructed the vehicle. While it may appear as a failure, the company refuses to call it that as they have much to learn from this launch. After all, SpaceX tried three times to get Starship into space. The first two ended up blowing up into fragments but SpaceX engineers were able to gather vital information that led to improvements and yesterday's successful launch in Texas.

See links below for more information on Starship's history making launch and how they were able to make it all happen.

Did you watch the launch live? Were you as excited as I was? Please share your comments below, thanks!

 

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SweptOverNiagara
SweptOverNiagara

Name's Joe and I live in Ontario, Canada. I like writing on a wide variety of topics. I enjoy keeping track of markets, investing and commodities and the crypto sector. Also do some coding for web browsers.


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