SpaceX starship crashes create hope for others


Wes Phipps

Graphic created by Wes Phipps. SpaceX is one of Elon Musk’s companies to help bring people back to into space. “He just has a dream, and he’s making it real,” sophomore Luke Foshe said.

SpaceX rocket explosion still leaves hope for space community

Earlier this week, SpaceX postponed the launch of the new SpaceX Starship.

After being delayed due to a frozen valve, the Starship launched on Thursday, April 20 from the Boca Chica test facility in southern Texas. In a matter of minutes, it exploded midair.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had given clearance on April 14 for the Starship to be launched into outer space, which was planned for the summer of 2021 but got delayed from development and the clearance process.

What is SpaceX?

In 2002, Elon Musk created SpaceX to help make living outside of the Earth more accessible.

In September of 2008, their first rocket was launched into space, the Falcon 1. It was considered to be the first private developed liquid fuel rocket to reach into Earth’s orbit.

“One of Elon’s design philosophies is to make it look cool,” Rock Hill sophomore Luke Foshe said. “He made it pointy even though it would be more aerodynamic and aerodynamically efficient to make it blunt,” Foshe said.

According to their website, SpaceX “is proud to be the first private company to have delivered astronauts to and from the International Space Station .”

NASA announced a partnership with SpaceX in November of 2022 and the support of SpaceX on their lunar exploration.

The Crash

On April 20 around 8:33 a.m. Central Standard Time, the Starship took off from the Texas facility. But the rocket exploded midair and crashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Starship is about 400 feet in height and is considered to be more powerful than NASA’s rockets.

According to AP News, “Elon Musk’s company was aiming to send the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built on a round-the-world trip from the southern tip of Texas, near the Mexican border.”

This was the first launch of the Starship program and it didn’t include any humans or satellites.

The goal was to have the rocket be in the air for an hour and a half. It planned to come back down just off the coast of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.

Impact to the Community

Foshe has had an interest in SpaceX and their program for a long time.

I actually am really interested in Starship, and I love how they’re designing it.”

— Luke Foshe

On the day of launch there was a crowd of people to view the takeoff, as many people skipped work and school.

Such programs also inspire students to consider a career in aerospace.

“I say I want to be an aerospace engineer,” Foshe said, “but I specifically want to be a mechanical engineer. I want to help [SpaceX] make their dreams real, I would love to be a part of that.”

Although the explosion was unexpected, it gave viewers and supporters hope for the future.