SpaceX hit major milestones with second Starship orbital launch that exploded mid-air

SpaceX has just conducted its second orbital launch attempt of the world’s most powerful and largest rocket, Starship.

The highly anticipated second orbital launch attempt only came to an end minutes ago after the company reported a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly (RUD), which translates to a big explosion. Despite the fiery ending, the Elon Musk-led company has declared the launch a success, as key objectives were achieved before the explosion took place.

During the livestream, SpaceX explained that the big objective of the day was to get past stage separation, which is the part of the launch that involves the Super Heavy booster disconnecting from the ship. During this launch, the first stage, Super Heavy, successfully disconnected from the second stage, which was a point of critical failure for the first Starship orbital launch. During the first orbital launch, a fire severed communications with Starship, resulting in a separation failure, an eventual tumble, and then a RUD.

The second orbital launch attempt was much more successful as Starship gained even more altitude than the first, but seemingly underwent a similar fate. While I don’t have the specifics in terms of times/altitude, Starship communications dropped shortly after separation, and while Starship wasn’t visible in the video feed where it would be a clear burst of gas can be seen expanding in all directions.

Starship exploding during second orbital test flight

At the time of writing, SpaceX is yet to release any details or statements regarding the launch, but the company said during its closing statements of the livestream that today, new milestones have been reached. Congratulations SpaceX!

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