Rock Out

The fallout from SpaceX's literally explosive Starship orbital test continues, with CEO Elon Musk now admitting that it caused even more weirdness than we thought before.

During a Twitter Spaces talk over the weekend, Musk said the world's most powerful rocket to date generated a "rock tornado" during liftoff, which was absolutely not part of the plan.

It was, as the CEO said per the New York Times' transcription, "basically a human-made sandstorm."

"But we don’t want to do that again," he cautioned.


The thrust from the rocket's 30 engines apparently also caused the concrete underneath it to shatter — which, again, doesn't seem like it was a planned-for bit of collateral damage.

To head off such damage during the next launch, which could happen in as few as six to eight weeks — pending many unknowns, including ticked off federal regulators — Musk said during the talk that SpaceX would be installing a large, water-cooled steel plate that apparently wasn't ready in time for the 4/20 launch.

Like a lot of sycophantic experts, Musk said that in spite of the many things that went wrong with the test launch and subsequent intentional self-destruction — including, but not limited to, setting a nearby state park on fire and wrecking part of SpaceX's own facilities — the entire debacle was good, actually.

"It was actually good to get this vehicle off the ground because we've made so many improvements," he said. "Really just needed to fly this vehicle and then move on to the much-improved booster."

That's one upshot, we guess.

More on Starship: SpaceX Is in Big Trouble With the FAA After Starship Explosion

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