Explained: Here’s what actually happened that caused SpaceX’s Starship to explode during test flight

On Thursday morning, an American spacecraft maker, SpaceX launched a spaceship called Starship, which detonated shortly after liftoff.

The SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket is the World’s biggest rocket. Further, it represents a fully reusable transportation system that has been designed to carry both crew and cargo to the orbit of the Earth, the Moon, and planets beyond. It is capable of carrying up to 150 metric tonnes fully reusable and 250 metric tonnes expendable.

The American spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX on Thursday morning launched its Starship which exploded a few minutes after the launch. This flight was, however, uncrewed as in there were no crew members on board so there were no casualties. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk plans to use this ship for pioneering deep-space missions.


Initially, the plan was to launch the spacecraft on Monday, but a pressure valve in the Super Heavy booster apparently froze. The abled team of professionals worked to rectify numerous unidentified issues to make a second attempt possible on Thursday.  

As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation.

“Teams will continue to review data and work toward our next flight test. With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary. Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on an exciting first integrated flight test of Starship!” said SpaceX in an official statement.

SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, later in the day tweeted “Congrats SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for the next test launch in a few months.”

The company had wanted to launch the first Starship as early as the summer of 2021, but development and gaining FAA permission caused delays.