Space X launches the most powerful rocket in history: What it means the new era of space exploration?


Amogh Belgal

Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 in order to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.

In a historic feat on April 20, SpaceX successfully launched the Starship, measuring a whopping 394 feet in height and 29.5 feet in width (the largest rocket ever to be launched in the history of mankind). The live stream on YouTube racked up 11 million views worldwide, making it the third most watched test flight in the history of SpaceX

“SpaceX has had a really big impact on space exploration. [Starship] is the largest rocket with the most thrust in the world. I think that SpaceX deserves credit and they can definitely improve the Starship to make it actually viable for space travel in the future,” said Astronomy Club President Sanjay Ravishankar (‘25). 

Starship’s goal has been made clear: to orbit the Earth, moon, Mars, and beyond. This rocket has the capability to carry up to 100 individual astronauts over an extended duration of time, including with a reusable transportation system. 

“Starship is seen to be one of our best chances of transporting humans and cargo to space. Just the fact that it was launched was a good thing, because it shows how much progress we humans have made,” said Astronomy Club Treasurer Shree Khangaonkar (‘25)

Successfully flying for more than two minutes before exploding in a cloud of flaming debris, the most powerful rocket ever built did not manage to reach orbit. However, SpaceX has cited that the launch provided important lessons and valuable data that can be utilized going forward. 

“Every history of every rocket ever developed always had some degree of failure, and from those failures, we learned to improve technology. Obviously, blowing up off the pad is not always desirable, but they’ll figure out what went wrong and correct it,” said AV Earth and Space Science Teacher Phillip Becker. 

In 2023, the US allocated a staggering $32.37 billion in funding to NASA, a remarkable increase of almost 1000% from half a century ago. As space exploration continues to become more efficient and advanced with each passing year, more innovations are being introduced to facilitate further scientific discovery and progress beyond our planet’s confines.

“I think at the end of the day, even politicians realize that we have so much technology and resources today as a result of spin offs from space, whether it’s cell phones, GPS technology, and even a pen that can work upside down,” said Becker

The advancement of new technology – such as more powerful engines and more efficient fuel sources – along with scientists gaining more information about space travel has provided a bright future for exploration outside Earth.

“Starship will revolutionize space travel in positive and negative ways. We now know that a starship of that size and with that power can now accomplish tasks. If we’re making a new ISS, we can do that. It’ll just make space travel or creating things in space much easier,” said Khangaonkar.