SpaceX’s Starship prototype that was launched from the company’s rocket facility in Boca Chica, Texas, exploded while attempting to land on Wednesday, sparking myriad reactions from space lovers and enthusiasts. People from all over were left mighty impressed by the launch even as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the ‘successful test had brought a trove of helpful data. The live video of the flight went viral everywhere and netizens hailed the protoype launch as historic and agreed with Musk who called it a huge milestone in space travel.
Musk had previously said that chances of the Starship rocket landing safely were slim and he turned out to be correct. The SpaceX founder was excited upon the launch and said that it was a ‘gateway to Mars’.
However, after the landing mishap, he said the rocket’s “fuel header tank pressure was low" during descent which caused “touchdown velocity to be high." He added that SpaceX had obtained “all the data we needed" from the test and hailed the rocket’s ascent phase a success.
Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020
In a series of tweets, Musk thanked South Texas for its support and followed it up with another one, “Mars, here we come!!"
Mars, here we come!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020
The Starship rocket destroyed in the accident was a 16-story-tall prototype for the heavy-lift launch vehicle being developed to carry humans and 100 tons of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars. The self-guided rocket blew up as it touched down on a landing pad following a controlled descent. The test flight had been intended to reach an altitude of 41,000 feet. SpaceX had also shared the live launch on Twitter.
Followers on social media were left awed by the launch and even the explosion as congratulations poured in for SpaceX for making a successful launch. People also shared videos and photos from their own sightings of the rocket’s explosion.
I think it’s important to note that this mission was a success! Starship SN8 completed ascent, freefall, and the bellyflop maneuver. Only didn’t quite stick the landing, but SpaceX has received a wealth of data for their next prototype, SN9.— Toby Li (@tobyliiiiiiiiii) December 10, 2020
This is big. This will be talked about for MANY years to come.— Geoff Barrett (@GeoffdBarrett) December 10, 2020
Gotta love that trial and error attitude. Looks cool too, like a giant hovering bullet. Blowing up a test rocket is like a rocketeer milestone. Way to go SpaceX. https://t.co/vf7vOXZT5I— Robert G. Schoenberg (@RGSchoenberg) December 10, 2020
oh wow. I thought this was an animation at first. That is some amazing footage!— redmanjbj (@redmanjbj) December 10, 2020
This is sci-fi to reality! An epic #Starship #SN8 testflight we have lost our minds @SpaceX @elonmusk @Erdayastronaut ️ https://t.co/pm7BLvaLYT pic.twitter.com/9zYfnd3yjD— Cosmic Perspective (@considercosmos) December 10, 2020
Users also responded to Musk’s tweet on Mars and came up with jokes on landing a job there as soon as the entrepreneur starts the first flight to the red planet.
I’m ready to leave this planet— Enter-Your_Name ➐ (@tr00p3RR) December 9, 2020
I speak Martian do I get the job ?— Damsel (@BubbleGirl1028) December 10, 2020
NASA awarded SpaceX $135 million to help develop Starship, alongside competing vehicles from rival ventures Blue Origin, the space company owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, and Leidos-owned Dynetcis.
The three companies are vying for future contracts to build the moon landers under NASA’s Artemis program, which calls for a series of human lunar explorations within the next decade.
(With inputs from Reuters)