SpaceX’s Starship Lost Shortly After Launch of Second Test Flight
“So far today has been incredibly successful, even with the RUD of the Super Heavy booster,” said Kate Tice, SpaceX’s quality systems engineer on the company’s webcast.
But before Starship could reach orbit, SpaceX mission control lost contact with it and stopped receiving data. At about 12 minutes into the flight, the automated flight termination system triggered—aborting the flight and making the second stage undergo RUD, too.
If Starship had successfully flown, it would have reached an altitude of about 146 miles and was planned to splash down at around 8:30 central time off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii.
This is the second time that a Starship test flight has gotten off to a promising start but failed several minutes into the flight. According to a statement on the company’s website, SpaceX later determined that in the first few minutes of the April flight, propellant leaked from the Super Heavy booster and caused fires that severed the connection with the primary flight computer. That’s why the upper stage and booster failed to separate, SpaceX concluded. Engineers…