Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, launched the most powerful space rocket ever developed, the 120-meter-tall Starship, from their Starbase in Texas. The test flight lasted 1.5 hours, and despite being designed to land on solid ground, the vehicle splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the rocket and its booster, Super Heavy, failed to separate, resulting in a high-altitude explosion, or as SpaceX put it, a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” Despite the setback, Musk congratulated his team and expressed excitement for the next test launch in a few months. The launch generated a lot of buzz, with the phrase “rapid unscheduled disassembly” becoming an instant meme.
Instead of simply stating that as an explosion, it was stated to be “rapid unscheduled disassembly”. Which implies it was an explosion. From a third perspective, the launch failed, but that’s not the case for the engineers working on it. However, how did this stop people from having a little fun with memes? Check out the below tweets.
‘It didn’t blow up, it was a rapid unscheduled disassembly’ pic.twitter.com/9zme02rfC2
— Toby Earle 🇺🇦 Threads tobyontv (@TobyonTV) April 20, 2023
It is known that Elon Musk is also with Twitter, so one such tweet also stated if Twitter is also undergoing such an explosion:
Is Twitter also undergoing “a rapid unscheduled disassembly”? https://t.co/Rg8eQB0BVw
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) April 20, 2023
Another took a sample from a movie clip, as an example of what was about be a rapid unscheduled disassembly.
Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly pic.twitter.com/Qoqs4bSI8T
— Maximum Effort (@MaximumEffort) April 20, 2023
What’s more interesting is, there was also a tweet from dictionary.com. Saying that SpaceX is pretty good with synonyms.
We're pretty good with synonyms, but "rapid unscheduled disassembly" is a new one, even for us.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) April 20, 2023
Some of the examples where people attempted to use it in real-life situations:
Sorry I can’t make it tonight I’m experiencing a rapid unscheduled disassembly. https://t.co/1greu40dkO
— Richard Hall (@_RichardHall) April 20, 2023
"Rapid unscheduled disassembly" is how, in future, I will describe nights when I got too drunk and it all went a bit wrong.
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) April 20, 2023
Furthermore, another tweet from a popular account, Dulingo also tweeted something interesting,
rapid unscheduled disassembly is also how i would describe my love life
— Duolingo (@duolingo) April 20, 2023
Although the explosion of Starship during its test flight may seem like a cause for concern, supporters of SpaceX and Elon Musk praised the company’s progress and approach to innovation. One Twitter user wrote, “Watching @elonmusk Starship explode feels a lot like the creator journey… We’re playing a long-term game.” Another individual, who identifies as a Tesla investor, congratulated the SpaceX team, saying, “Stage separation didn’t work, but getting this far is an amazing success in and of itself.”
The company itself played it off with a laugh, noting that the main goal for today’s launch was merely getting off the ground. “As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation,” SpaceX posted.
Other users on the platform though, who don’t view Musk as keenly as some of his most ardent supporters, took the explosion, which occurred on the day Musk plans to finally, once and for all, institute his blue check removal, as a metaphor.
“I watched some random feed of the starship launch and people started clapping when it blew up (it was not supposed to blow up) and that’s musk’s entire career right there,” one person tweeted. Others shared images of Musk grimly looking on from the launch center.
— Jurian Ubachs (@tweakjur) April 20, 2023
Still, others enjoyed a laugh about how the was portrayed online by some outlets, especially by the New York Times. “SpaceX’s Starship rocket launched but fell short of its most ambitious goals when it exploded minutes into its flight,” the paper tweeted.
NY Times writing about Space x like they are cops who just murdered someone https://t.co/b0BnBucOVw
— The Debt Collective 🟥 (@StrikeDebt) April 20, 2023
SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, explodes mid-air during its historic first test flight from a launchpad in South Texas. The massive Super Heavy rocket booster lifts off and sends a massive boom across the coastal landscape, but failed to separate from the Starship spacecraft about 2.5 minutes after takeoff, resulting in a “rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation,” according to SpaceX.
Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship!
Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months. pic.twitter.com/gswdFut1dK
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
At the moment of ignition, numerous Raptor engines spewed a dazzling and scorching blaze from their methane-powered mouths, prompting cheers from the crowds of onlookers gathered along the beach. Despite initial doubts, the mammoth Starship rocket began to ascend slowly, its nose peeking out of the exhaust, followed by almost 40 stories of stainless steel. The 394-foot-tall (120 meters) SpaceX mega-rocket is the largest ever built, and the crowd couldn’t contain their excitement.