Last year alone, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched 61 Falcon 9 flights—or one every six days—making it the world’s workhorse rocket. It’s just the start. On April 20, 2023, SpaceX launched the most powerful rocket ever built, when it lit the fuse on its brand-new Starship, a rocket NASA is counting on to land astronauts on the moon sometime before the end of the decade. It’s a huge feat, even though Starship exploded just four minutes into the flight. The flight (and subsequent “rapid unscheduled disassembly,” as SpaceX described it in a tweet) provides crucial information on how to succeed that will guide future testing.
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