SpaceX Bets Steel Plates Will Keep Launchpad From Blowing Up

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow George Sowers contributes to this article about how the Starship launchpad was badly damaged in flight test last month, and experts question whether CEO Musk’s fix will be enough. To ensure that each subsequent flight doesn’t fling debris everywhere, the company is adding a new feature: a pair of massive steel plates with pressurized water to help dampen the effects of as many as 33 Raptor engines igniting during takeoff.  May 9, 2023.