Elon Musk's SpaceX ridiculed after describing explosion of Starship as 'Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly'

20 April 2023, 15:59

SpaceX described the launch as a success
SpaceX described the launch as a success. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Elon Musk's SpaceX has been ridiculed on social media for describing the explosion of its Starship rocket as a "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly".

The world's biggest ever rocket launched today on its second attempt, but exploded minutes later - in a test flight that was hailed as a 'success' by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

It was the second time SpaceX attempted to launch Starship this week after a failure on Monday.

SpaceX described the explosion as a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".

Read More: World's biggest rocket Starship by SpaceX launches on second attempt but explodes minutes later

The phrasing has been ridiculed online, including by dictionary.com, who tweeted: "We're pretty good with synonyms, but "rapid unscheduled disassembly" is a new one, even for us."

Another person wrote: "Rapid unscheduled disassembly" is one of the all-time great euphemisms."

Meanwhile, a third said: "Rapid unscheduled disassembly" is certainly one way to say unintended explosion."

SpaceX tweeted: "With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary.

"Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on an exciting first integrated flight test of Starship!"

Describing the explosion, SpaceX said: "Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation."

Meanwhile, SpaceX CEO Musk congratulated his team on the launch.

He added: "Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months."

SpaceX rocket explodes minutes after launch

SpaceX's terminology has also sparked a series of memes and jokes online, with people using the phrase in their own lives.

One person wrote: "All legacy blue tick Twitter users are also about to experience a rapid unscheduled disassembly."

Another joked: "Rapid unscheduled disassembly" is how i'm going to refer to my breakdowns from now on."

Read More: Launch of world's biggest rocket Starship by SpaceX postponed with minutes to go

Read More: US government 'had full access' to Twitter users' private messages, Elon Musk claims

Reacting to the launch, British astronaut Tim Peake congratulated SpaceX on its launch.

"Congratulations SpaceX on making it off the launchpad.

"A shame about the ‘Rapid Unscheduled Departure’ but space is hard. Test, learn & try again."

Starship by SpaceX successfully launched but exploded minutes later
Starship by SpaceX successfully launched but exploded minutes later. Picture: SpaceX

The rocket is the world's biggest, standing at around 120 metres.

That is nine metres taller than Nasa's Saturn V (111m), or Space Launch System (98m).

It has 33 engines and 16.7 million pounds of thrust.

SpaceX says it plans to use Starship to carry up to 100 people on long-duration interplanetary flights.

Following the first attempt to launch SpaceX on Monday, the launch was turned into "wet dress rehearsal", meaning the team ran through what would have happened if the rocket had taken off.

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