SpaceX rocket explodes on ground after seemingly successful flight

04 Mars, 2021, 06:56 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • SpaceX Starship SN10 launch LIVE: Reattempt underway after lift-off of Mars-bound prototype aborted

The Elon Musk-headed space company conducted a test flight of its SN10 Starship prototype on Wednesday, and made a soft landing though landing legs appeared to malfunction and a fire appeared to ignite as the vehicle landed.

SpaceX launched a prototype of its Starship next-generation vehicle March 3, landing it safely only to have the vehicle explode minutes later.

And, roughly 10 minutes later, the entire vehicle exploded from a possible methane leak. Moreover, SpaceX has recently swapped out its faulty Raptor engine for the Starship as reported by Teslarati, in preparation for its triple engine landing.

SpaceX is inviting people to watch its launch virtually, and as per usual, it would go on a live stream on either the company's Live Website or YouTube live stream two hours before the actual launch of the company.

Minutes later, the entire vehicle exploded, leaving only the cone and what might be the methane tank lying on the Boca Chica landing area. "One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace". The first two prototypes exploded immediately upon landing.

This is just the latest test flight being run by SpaceX, and so far, it looks like some complications could be arising ahead of the launch. Before the flight of Starship SN8 in December, this maneuver had never been performed using a vehicle of this size. As of writing, it's in free-fall toward the landing zone in Boca Chica. The last two test flights ended in crashes.

After the first attempt to launch Starship SN10 was abandoned at 10.14am Thursday, Musk explained: "Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit".

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Later Wednesday, Musk tweeted that "Starship SN10 landed in one piece!"

It then approached the landing pad and fired rockets to reorient itself into a vertical position.

This trajectory will serve two crucial functions: allowing Starship to "bleed off" extra velocity while also preserving the hull of the ship without the need for a colossal heat shield. Whether or not it goes down this way, everyone knows the landing will be entertaining.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) already granted approval to SpaceX for today's launch, with a launch window opening at 10:00 AM EST. Regardless of holds, the weather was wonderful, with clear and sunny skies in the South Texas region.

Once SpaceX figures out how Starship can nail its launch and landing, the company will want to rocket a prototype into orbit to test its ability to reenter Earth's atmosphere. On that mission, called "dearMoon", Maezawa would fly with up to eight artists.

Maezawa said a total of 10 to 12 people will fly on the mission, but did not disclose who those beyond the eight selected in the competition would be.

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