The SN 10 prototype has almost pulled off a perfect test after SpaceX is ready to fly to Mars and the moon. This time the massive explosion came just after the landing.
Explosion After Successful Landing Of Elon Musk’s SpaceX
SpaceX of Elon Musks landed successfully a model of its rocket Starship after flying it at the height of just above six miles. This was an important milestone in the spacecraft’s test where it hopes one day to fly astronauts to the surface of Mars and the moon.
Eight minutes had passed to the landing of the spacecraft when unfortunately it exploded on the pad, spreading debris across the whole SpaceX’s launch site in the region of South Texas. As there was no one in the rocket, so there were no casualties.
In its previous attempts, it had landed hard on the surface and hence exploded. But this time this version called SN 10 or Serial Number 10, looked like going successfully from start to end. The rocket took off at 6:14 p.m. East time from SpaceX’s launch pad site, reached its top altitude, and then unexpectedly started coming back towards Earth horizontally because of its fins.
The spacecraft then controlled itself, started again its three engines and then touched down gently in a cloud of smoke and dust.
John Insprucker who is the SpaceX’s chief integration engineer described this as a soft beautiful landing on the pad meant for landing.
Streams of smoke and leaning were easily visible when all of a sudden it exploded in a giant fireball, most probably because of leakage of fuel, taking the vehicle shooting up into the air for the 2nd time.
Previous month too SN 9, a Starship prototype, was launched with success but landed hard on the ground and then crashed on the pad itself. In other words SN 8 too had met the same fate.
SpaceX would likely fly its next model very soon as reported by Insprucker. He said the next model SN11, is almost ready to be launched in the near future.
This Starship’s test campaign is somewhat similar to the procedure SpaceX went through when it learned to land from itself its Falcon 9 rocket. This is the workhorse vehicle which flies crew and cargo to NASA’s International Space Station. Initially SpaceX had crashed boosters many times on ships at sea much before finally attaining a successful landing at its pad in Cape Canaveral in the year 2015.
In the context of SpaceX, the Starship test campaign has gone more than a way for the company to teach how to fly and then land the vehicle — it is like a rehearsal of sorts for NASA. SpaceX is presently competing to make a spacecraft that would probably land NASA’s astronauts on the moon’s surface as a part of NASA’s long time due Artemis program. Last year, SpaceX company was one of three companies, along with Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin and Dynetics. chosen in the initial phase of the contract.
If the company SpaceX is successful in launching successfully and equally successfully landing a Starship it could add feathers in its cap.
NASA’s Artemis program’s progress is being reviewed by the leadership and they are going to decide whether this program can meet the expectation or rather ambitious timetable set for it by Trump administration.
The company informed that it has plans to fly Starship to orbit of our planet this year. A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, and a small crew of private US Residents are expected on a trip around the moon.
The expected time of this mission is 2023 — and a competition has been announced for common people to apply for this wonderful mission by Elon Musk.