Earlier this week, SpaceX conducted another test of its Starship. However, the booster was damaged by an explosion during a pre-launch test and will now need to be inspected to determine whether it can be used in the inaugural launch of the Starship later this summer.
For more on the Starship, check out the Cool Worlds video titled “Why Starship Could Transform Astronomy.” It argues that reduced launch costs, reduced complexity, and heavier payloads would allow NASA to launch a fleet of telescopes within current budgets. For instance, the larger Starship payload would have allowed NASA to avoid all of the contortions necessary to fold the James Webb Space Telescope into a smaller rocket. The video also argues that SpaceX’s willingness to take risks is something NASA may want to emulate.
These are interesting times with NASA and SpaceX testing new rockets to place astronauts on distant objects. Even if Russia wants to sit this one out, we have a full blown space race underway domestically.