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Musk: Starship/Superheavy launchpad essentially undamaged after launch

Superheavy launchpad post launch
Click for original image.

In a tweet posted only a short time ago, Elon Musk announced that the redesigned and rebuilt Boca Chica launchpad experienced little or no damage during the launch of Superheavy/Starship on November 18, 2023.

Just inspected the Starship launch pad and it is in great condition!

No refurbishment needed to the water-cooled steel plate for next launch.

Congrats to @Spacex team & contractors for engineering & building such a robust system so rapidly!

Musk included the picture to the right in the tweet, showing the essentially undamaged launchpad pad. A close looks suggests there was some damage to the rear pillar near the top, but overall it appears the next launch could occur here very quickly.

Musk of course is wrong about who he credits for redesigning and rebuilding this launchpad. The real credit must go to the FAA bureaucrats who led the investigation and must have clearly guided those SpaceX engineers and contractors. To expect private citizens to think for themselves and come up with such difficult engineering without supervision from government paper-pushers in Washington is unreasonable and unfair. Maybe the Biden Justice Department should consider another lawsuit against Musk, this time for spreading more disinformation!

Moreover, who cares that the launchpad deluge system worked exactly as planned? We must allow Fish & Wildlife to spend several months now to investigate this launch — as well as write a long report of many words — to make sure that deluge of water did not harm any of the wildlife that lives on this barrier island, which has a water table of essentially zero and is flooded regularly and repeatedly by storms over time.

Anyone who disagrees is clearly a bigoted racist who wants to harm little children!

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On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Gary

    Here’s the proper strategy for dealing with bureaucrats!

  • Richard M

    What SpaceX has now is a reusable launch pad, and given the nature of the program and the circumstances it has to work in, that is no mean feat.

    Of course, no small part of that was having B9/S25 spend less than half the time on the orbital launch mount after ignition, because this time none of the engines were shut down.

  • wickedpinto

    I read a “futurism” review. Futurism is clearly not interested in the product they supposedly report on, they are just a bunch of hacks.

    I’m not an engineer in title, but I know how things work, and to see the repeated LIES about how failure is failure for ever, rather than an expression of progress by ideologically driven twats just pisses me off.

    SpaceX could have had this demonstration 3 months ago, and should have another demonstration in 1 or 2 months.

    Futurism, a journalistic entity, acts as though this is just one more big boom in atmosphere. I truly hate these people.

  • Phill O

    Bob, your humour has me rolling in the Ilse.

  • Phill O


    I never could spell

  • Jeff Wright

    I wish they would cover the surrounding areas with sheet metal just to knock down the dust.

  • Jeffrey Williams

    We WERE going to have this by 1982…but something “bushy” occurred to prevent the “gov’t” from releasing the old NCP format internet for the summer 1976 Bicentennial celebrations…

  • BLSinSC

    It’s FORTUNATE that most of your readers are not leftists since they would not realize the SILENT “/s”!! I do find it odd that the Fish and Game people need to be involved, but I guess since there’s WATER involved there might be a chance of some injuries to some fishes! As far as the Government’s “engineering”? Now THAT was a good one!

    I always enjoy your articles and have learned a lot about stuff I never saw in other places – THANKS!

  • Chuck

    With a nod to the sarcasm, I’d be surprised that FWS is involved any further, unless SpaceX makes significant changes to the pad water system.

    Having said that, I agree that the FAA is going to give this launch a good once-over, especially the Starship. This was essentially it’s maiden launch, and while it performed admirably, the self-destruct that far downrange is something that SpaceX will have to address to the FAA’s satisfaction prior to IFT-3. Remains to be seen just what happened beyond T+7:06.

    But an AWESOME test flight!

  • sippin_bourbon

    I noted some interesting articles out there accusing Musk of a number of new things.

    Elections are a year away, and they are out for him.
    I cynically think it is an attempt to wrest twitter/x from him before the the major campaigning begins.

  • John

    Finally! This site gives Fish and Game the credit they deserve. Without them there would be no launch pad nor would we be going to the moon, baby.

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