SpaceX starship explosion not the failure it appears, experts say | CNN

SpaceX's Starship takes off from Boca Chica, Texas on Thursday morning.

A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Wonder Theory Science Newsletter. To get it in your inbox, Sign up for free here.


Launching a rocket is like opening a box of chocolates, only riskier – You never know what you’re going to get.

And there is always a chance that things could explode.

As humans, we can’t help but be drawn to spectacles. When a rocket is set to take off from the launchpad, there is a good chance of seeing a spectacular liftoff or a spectacular failure.

The lead-up to this week’s launch of SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever, has been a dramatic roller coaster.

Years of explosive tests, growing hype and a series of setbacks resulted in what SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called “an exciting test launch” Thursday morning — but not everything went as planned.

SpaceX's Starship takes off from Boca Chica, Texas on Thursday morning.

Initially, the Starship’s historic first test flight appeared to be going smoothly. The rocket blasted off from a launchpad in South Texas and roared 24.2 miles (39 kilometers) into the Gulf of Mexico.

When it was time for the rocket booster to separate from the spacecraft, the entire stack lost some of its engines and began to disintegrate before the flight termination system detonated in midair.

Musk and SpaceX consider the test a success because it accomplished a number of objectives for the launch vehicle Astronauts on the Moon or Mars one day.

But the company will have to overcome challenges to achieve significant milestones before Musk’s vision becomes a reality.

Analysis of ancient DNA is bringing a powerful empire out of the shadows of history.

There are few written records of the Xiongnu Dynasty, a nomadic people who conquered distant places on horseback and forced China to build its Great Wall.

Now, genetic analysis of two cemeteries in present-day Mongolia has revealed new insights into a rival to imperial China. came to power in the second century BC. The empire’s population was likely multiracial, multicultural, and multilingual, given how genetically diverse its people were.

The Chinese rulers considered the Xiongnu to be barbarians. But among the tombs, researchers found elaborate tombs, including an elite woman buried with golden artifacts and the remains of six horses and a chariot.

Kenya's Ruma National Park is home to just over a dozen roe deer.

Happy Earth Day to the “Blue Marble” we call home.

Our world supports about 8.7 million species, but some of them are declining. Award-winning conservation photographer Anthony Ochieng Onyango devotes his time to capturing images of declining populations, such as the roebuck.

Onyango said he hopes his photos of rare animals will inspire action to save wildlife and their habitats from destruction before some species reach the point of extinction.

If you also want to help protect various animal life centers, including the ocean, try to avoid single-use plastics, shop smarter for personal care products, and choose sustainable fish at the market.

Want more ideas on how to help the planet and ease your eco-concern? Sign up for CNN’s limited edition newsletter series Life, But Greener.

Northern elephant seals warm up as they take 10-hour naps on the beach during breeding season. But it takes hard work to catch these marine mammals for just two hours Sleeping every day during months of foraging at sea.

Researchers came to the surprising conclusion after capping some seals and analyzing them. brain waves.

Seals have adapted to catch short naps during deep 30-minute dives to the ocean floor, holding their breath all the while.

Once safely out of reach of predators, the seals experience sleep paralysis and spiral into a corkscrew pattern like falling leaves—and wake up just in time to avoid drowning.

Here are the remains of an eastern settlement in Greenland, where the Vikings lived for four centuries before leaving the island.

The sudden disappearance of the Vikings from Greenland and why they left a successful settlement there after 400 years has long intrigued historians.

Now, researchers have a new theory about why the Vikings suddenly left in the mid-15th century: rising sea levels.

Sea level rose Up to 9.8 feet (3 m), flooding the presumably fertile lowlands and creating increasingly difficult conditions for the Norse settlement.

Centuries later, global sea levels are rising due to a human-driven climate crisis — and Earth’s ice sheets have lost enough ice in the past 30 years to form an ice cube 12 miles high.

Bookmark these findings for your next water cooler conversation:

— A bright starburst captured in a new image by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals what happened when two spiral galaxies collided.

— The natural world is a wild place, where carnivorous plants can lure prey using specific scents and insects bite when exposed to cannabinoids.

— A magnificent 2,000-year-old winery found amid the ruins may have doubled as an entertainment venue that turned winemaking into a theatrical show for wealthy Romans.

And before you go, here’s what you need to know about observing the Lyrids meteor shower this weekend!

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