SpaceX Starship Launchpad Upgrades Imminent After Kicked Up Dust Cloud
During the launching attempt of an uncrewed starship rocket test flight on Thursday, substantial damage was caused to the launchpad after takeoff.
After takeoff, the giant spaceship explodes at 23 miles (37 km) above the ground in the sky.
After this incident, Elon Musk’s company will use a water-cooled steel plate under the launchpad for its upcoming rocket launch that can withstand the world’s most powerful liftoff and be ready for installation in one to two months.
At SpaceX’s launch site in Texas, around 30 engines were ignited with the force that no other rocket had faced, violently pummeling the launchpad’s floor as it was slowly takeoff.
Photos of the aftermath showed that the event created a deep hollow depression (crater) and large chunks of reinforced concrete flying in the sky at thousands of feet.
On Friday, Elon Musk said that even the engines were fired at half of their actual power during the ground test and SpaceX “wrongly thought” the launchpad foundation would survive a single launch.
Tom Marotta, an advisor of launch regulations to space companies, said that before any next starship launch attempt, the Federal Aviation Administration would need to approve the changes to the launchpad infrastructure.
The difficult challenge for SpaceX is that its steel plate solution meets the FAA regulations on time.