On November 18, 2023, SpaceX attempted to launch its Starship system, a reusable rocket and spacecraft designed for interplanetary missions, from its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
The launch was the first integrated flight test of the Starship and its Super Heavy booster, which has 33 engines and is the most powerful rocket ever built.
The launch was initially scrubbed on November 16 due to a frozen valve in the pressurization system.
The launch seemed to go well until the booster separation, when eight engines failed to ignite and the booster started to tumble. SpaceX triggered the flight termination system on both the booster and the Starship, causing them to self-destruct in mid-air to prevent them from crashing into populated areas.
FAA is investigating the cause of the explosion
The booster exploded on its way back to the landing site, while the Starship deviated from its planned trajectory and activated the automatic aircraft termination system.
No injuries or property damage were reported, but the incident was a major setback for SpaceX and its founder and CEO Elon Musk, who has ambitious plans to use the Starship system for moon and Mars missions.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the cause of the explosion and has grounded the Starship fleet until further notice.
Musk has not commented publicly on the failure, but he tweeted that the next launch will be in a few months.
Dogecoin price dropped by 5% in one hour after the launch, possibly due to a negative sentiment among the crypto community, as Musk is a well-known supporter and promoter of the meme coin. Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created as a joke in 2013, but has gained popularity and value thanks to Musk’s tweets and endorsements.