Space X: A Failed Launch

Maya Haywood, Student Writer


SpaceX recently launched the Starship, the most powerful rocket created yet. The massive rocket, which was about 400 feet tall when completely assembled, soared majestically off the launch pad and burst spectacularly four minutes later at an altitude of approximately twenty-five miles. Despite the explosion, the test flight was primarily successful because the rocket reached the air. It was undoubtedly a magnificent sight to behold. Later images of the Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas’s launch pad reveal considerable damage that is much beyond what was anticipated.

SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., was established in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk as a private American aerospace manufacturer and provider of services related to space travel. In a relatively short period, the organization has achieved great success, transforming the space sector and making substantial advancements toward ensuring space travel is more available and cost-effective. The Falcon 1 rocket, launched by SpaceX in March 2006, was unsuccessful in reaching orbit. Unfazed, the business kept developing its technology until, in September 2008, it eventually launched its first flawless Falcon 1 spacecraft after several other failed attempts. As a result of this achievement, SpaceX underwent a paradigm shift and started to be taken seriously as a player in the space sector. SpaceX safely launched the Dragon into orbit in 2010, creating history as the first privately funded company.


The issue at Boca Chica was caused by the heat and power of the rocket engines firing, which caused cracks in the concrete material making up the pad, called Fondag. Launchpad material was eroded when high-pressure gasses released from the engines entered the gaps and widened them. The launch pad malfunctioned, resulting in disastrous results. Pictures of the base taken after the launch showed burned buildings, missing slabs of concrete, and a massive crater. Debris from the launch pad’s destruction spilled into the surrounding area, hitting at least one vehicle on the road.