Spacex Starship SN10 rocket launch : SpaceX Starship SN10 explodes on landing platform after successful run
Elon Musk-run SpaceX managed to land its next-generation heavy-lift rocket Starship for the first time, but it exploded minutes later on the launching pad at a US facility. At first, Musk celebrated the landing on Thursday, saying “Starship SN10 landed in one piece.” After the explosion, he tweeted: “RIP SN10, honourable discharge”.
It exploded in a massive fireball after a possible methane leak. The prototype, SN10, blew up on the landing pad about three minutes after completing a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) altitude hop test in Texas.
The Starship prototype named SN10 managed to land after carrying out a high-altitude test flight in Texas, US. According to SpaceX, the launch test’s objective was to showcase the computer-controlled movements of the rocket’s four aerodynamic flaps that steer its descent before landing. Starship is SpaceX’s ambitious spacecraft designed to take humans to Mars. The company has been working on prototypes to find the right design that will work for the transport.
SN10 slowly descended on its landing pad, softly touching down but leaning slightly to the side, and then exploded. Last month, an earlier prototype of Starship exploded after a high-altitude test flight in Texas. The prototype, Starship serial number 9 (SN9), marked the completion of SpaceX’s second high-altitude flight test of a Starship prototype from the company’s site in Cameron County, Texas.
SpaceX had said that all four flaps were actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship’s altitude during flight and enable precise landing at the intended location. However, during the landing flip manoeuvre, one of the Raptor engines did not relight and caused SN9 to land at high speed, causing an explosion. SpaceX said,
“These test flights are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond,”
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 3, 2021
It is the third such incident after two previous prototypes met a similar fate in December and February. SpaceX commentator, John Insprucker, had called the touchdown before the explosion a “third time” charm. The company’s founder, Elon Musk, tweeted that the starship landed in one piece, without mentioning the blast.
Starship SN10 landed in one piece! https://t.co/lO4AF47MaN
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 4, 2021
Musk plans to use the starships to send people to the moon and Mars. On Wednesday, Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, launched a search for eight people who would join him on a trip around the moon in a SpaceX starship.
The weeklong voyage is scheduled for 2023. When asked about the risk associated with space travel, Maezawa said,
“Elon Musk says there is no problem and I believe him.”
Twitter Reactions on the explode of SN10
— jordan🚀 (@AstroJordy) March 3, 2021
Starship SN10 LANDED spectacularly and then EXPLODED minutes later! 🚀💥 pic.twitter.com/l1bT6N9rU5
— Everything Space (@totalspace360) March 3, 2021
— Mithcair (@mithcair) March 3, 2021
— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) March 3, 2021
Starship SN10's post landing demise is unfortunate but still, everyone at SpaceX can chalk todays flight test up as a huge success. Become a patron at the link below for photo downloads, behind the scenes goodies, and more. @NASASpaceflight
— Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) March 4, 2021
Keep reading the space and stay updated!