Sunday, November 19, 2023

Exploding Totem Poles

Space X just blew up another Starship. That’s par for the course. The company is a great  believer in destructive testing. While that’s a common enough engineering procedure we don’t often see it on this scale. Maybe never. 

As far as failures go this last attempt appears to be a more successful kaboom. Right off the bat the first improvement was the launch pad success. It didn’t mimic a gigantic volcanic eruption like the previous attempt. Turn around time is so much better when you don’t have to rebuild your launch site from scratch. 

The next improvement was booster separation. It actually took place this time. However, the booster was not supposed to then explode in a spectacular manner. Ops. Stuff happens. Going to space is hard. 

The rest of the rocket appeared to be doing well. It went quite a distance before it too turned into a fireworks display. Let’s just say it’ll be a while before the vehicle is man rated. One problematic issue appears to be the shedding of heat tiles. You need those to be intact to come back safely. 

Of course the general public doesn’t have access to all the data. Hopefully Space X learned enough to keep these issues from happening again. There’s no sense in doing destructive testing if you can’t learn from your mistakes. 

For now, the Starship is on par with Musk’s other current projects, like the cybertruck and the acquisition of Twitter. 



  1. I've got a plan, stay the heck away from Space X. Elon seems to have lost his rational ability to make a decision that doesn't involve loss of some sort. A sign he has way to much money.

    1. His real genius is hiring really talented people and getting government money.

  2. Seems SpaceX owned by Musk is the primary resupply for the International Space Station.

    I think his company is the big dog currently in orbital freight.

    His failures Seems about the same level as NASA but so far he's not killed a crew yet.


    1. Good point. He's done a decent job with the Dragon capsule and the rockets that get it there. I'm wondering if Starship will be a bridge too far? Then again, NASA is running behind schedule and over budget -as unusal.