SpaceX Conducts Second Flight Test of Starship

Starship second launch

On early Saturday, November 18, 2023, SpaceX conducted a significant integrated flight test of its Starship spacecraft, marking a new chapter in space exploration.

This test, crucial for collecting vital data, is a part of SpaceX’s unique rapid development approach, previously successful in the Falcon, Dragon, and Starlink projects. SpaceX gained approval from the FAA earlier this week to launch its second flight test.

The highlight of this test was the implementation of a new stage separation technique called ‘hot-staging’. The Starship, powered by all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy Booster, successfully lifted off and accomplished stage separation.

However, shortly after this phase, the Super Heavy booster experienced an unexpected “rapid unscheduled disassembly”, while the Starship’s engines continued to operate for several minutes en route to space.

This even is considered a success by SpaceX in terms of the critical insights gained for future advancements. These findings are expected to play a significant role in enhancing the reliability and performance of Starship as SpaceX pursues its ambitious goal of making human life multiplanetary.

Standing at 120 meters, the fully stacked Starship is not only the world’s most powerful launch vehicle but also the tallest, roughly equivalent to the height of one Mechagodzilla. This test represents a monumental achievement in SpaceX’s journey towards space innovation and exploration.

Check out the Starlink launch replay below: