The launch of the SpaceX rocket in Texas was a “tremendous success”, astronaut Chris Hadfield has said.
The rocket is the most powerful in human history but exploded four minutes into the test flight.
The hope is one day one can be built that will reach Mars and SpaceX owner Elon Musk said the company had “learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
It is an optimistic sentiment that Mr Hadfield heartily concours with.
“They had tremendous success,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“This is twice as powerful as any rocket in history - an enormous thing.
“Not only [did] all 33 of the engines light… but it got clear of the launch tower and it got up through the thickest part of the atmosphere.
“It got faster than the speed of sound and it got all the way to almost where they were going to separate the second stage of the vehicle before they were having engine trouble and it came apart.
“And nobody was hurt, they learned a tremendous amount… [and] it greatly improves the odds of success on just their second all out try.”
Liftoff from Starbase pic.twitter.com/rgpc2XO7Z9
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 20, 2023
Mr Hadfield noted the Wright brothers “crashed all the time” before they successfully flew in 1903 and the process was no different for the space industry.
“It’s normal, it’s part of test flying and kudos to SpaceX today,” he said.
“This opens [just] a little bit [of] a brand new door of inexpensive heavy lift beyond earth.”
Mr Hadfield served as a combat pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and then trained as an astronaut; he became the first Canadian to walk in space and sent the first tweet from space in Irish.
“Tá Éire fíorálainn! [Ireland is truly beautiful],” he wrote.
“Land of green hills dark beer. With Dublin glowing in the Irish night.”
Main image: Chris Hadfield