SpaceX’s prototype space rocket exploded during a landing attempt minutes after an experimental high-altitude launch from Bocatika, Texas, and repeated accidents that destroyed the previous test rocket.
Like its predecessor, the SN8, the Starship SN9, which exploded on the last descent, was developed by billionaire Elon Musk’s private space company to transport people and 100 tons of cargo in future missions. It was a test sample of a heavy rocket. Moon and Mars.
The homing 16-story rocket looked like a perfect launch from SpaceX’s live feed, initially taking off from a launchpad in the Persian Gulf into the clear blue skies of South Texas.
At a peak altitude of about 10 km (6 mi), the spacecraft hovered momentarily in the air, shutting off the engine, performing planned “very disastrous” operations, and aerodynamically heading towards Earth. I dropped my neck.
On Tuesday, February 2, SpaceX Starship serial number 9 (SN9) performed the second high-altitude suborbital flight test of a Starship prototype from Cameron County, Texas [full video: https://t.co/yO5rR9qQnr] pic.twitter.com/OoKTEvgJLN
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) February 2, 2021
After Starship rotated its nose again to begin the landing sequence, it tried to reactivate two of the Raptor’s three engines, but one had a problem where ignition failed … Then the rocket quickly fell to the ground, exploding in a roaring ball of flame, smoke, and debris 6 minutes and 26 seconds after launch.
The first prototype, the Starship SN8, which was tested at high altitude, had a similar fate in December. There were no injuries in either case.
A SpaceX commentator during the webcast of the launch on Tuesday said the rocket flight to test altitude was “very good and stable, as we saw last December,” along with many subsonic re-entries. Stated.
“This landing requires a bit of work. This is a test flight. This is the second time I’ve flown a starship in this configuration.”
There was no immediate comment from Mask, who leads the electric car company, Tesla. A few hours ago, Musk told Twitter that he wouldn’t use the social media platform “for a while.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it would oversee the investigation of the landing incident on Tuesday, as it did after the last explosion. The investigation highlighted tensions between Mask and the authorities.
According to the FAA, SpaceX launched in December without “demonstrating” that the public security risks associated with “distant world overpressure” meet regulatory approval requirements. However, officials said the “corrective action” taken by the company later was approved by the FAA and incorporated into the launch on Tuesday.
“We do not expect any further enforcement action in the SN8 case,” the agency said in a statement.
“The FAA’s space sector has a fundamentally flawed regulatory structure,” Musk tweeted last week, “humans will never reach Mars.”
Combined with the ultra-heavy first-stage booster, the complete Starship rocket, which is 394 feet (120 meters) high, is at the heart of Musk’s ambition to make human space travel more efficient, the company’s next generation. Is a fully reusable rocket. Affordable and every day.
The first starship orbital flight is scheduled for the end of the year. Musk announced in 2023 that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa intends to orbit the moon on a starship spacecraft.