At 7:03 a.m. Central Time on November 18, the SpaceX starship was ignited and lifted off from the Starbase launch site in Texas. This is the second orbital test of the Starship.
As planned, the Starship spacecraft (S25) successfully separated from the super-heavy thruster (B9) carrying 33 engines at an altitude of approximately 75 kilometers less than 3 minutes after liftoff. The spacecraft then continued flying and reached a speed close to orbital speed.
Different from the plan, about 9 minutes after ignition and liftoff, the Starship spacecraft lost contact. Its last altitude before losing contact was 148 kilometers, and its speed exceeded 24,000 kilometers per hour. In addition, the super-heavy thruster that was supposed to splash down into the Gulf of Mexico exploded less than a minute after it separated from the spacecraft.
SpaceX originally expected that the starship would briefly orbit the Earth, return to Earth about 90 minutes after liftoff, and land in the Pacific Ocean near Kauai, Hawaii. Now, SpaceX chief integration engineer John Insprucker said that the team believes that the Starship finally activated the flight abort system - that is, it may have exploded.
The Starship has not completed the entire journey that SpaceX designed for it, but the Starship that has achieved hot staging (that is, the spacecraft engine before separation) has at least gone further than the last orbital test.