Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or ‘Space X’ is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars, according to the business website.
on Wednesday SpaceX’s Starship, SN10 became the first Starship prototype to successfully lift off, flip itself, and land. The vessel, however, exploded shortly after landing. SpaceX has not yet clarified the cause of the explosion.
“SN10 soared over South Texas during test flight Wednesday before swooping down to a pinpoint landing near its launch site. Multiple independent video feeds showed the rocket exploding on its landing pad,” ABC News reported.
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
SpaceX Starship explodes after it successfully landed during the SN10 high-altitude test at Boca Chica. SN1P0 lifted off at roughly 5:10 p.m. CT after earlier delays. It successfully touched down on the landing pad.
Elon Musk commented on his Twitter:
Starship SN10 landed in one piece! https://t.co/lO4AF47MaN
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 4, 2021
— Dr. Tanya Harrison (@tanyaofmars) March 3, 2021
#SN10 reflew a lot quicker than any of us expected ???? that was insane!!!! So…. congrats and also RIP ????♂️???? bye bye SN10, congrats on making history!!!! @spacex @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/FkDTa9ISRi
— Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) March 3, 2021
On March 3, SpaceX’s Starship pulled off a successful high-altitude flight—it’s third in a row. Unlike in the first two missions, the spacecraft stuck the landing. Then, as in the last two, the spacecraft blew up.
What happened: At around 5:14 p.m. US Central Time, the 10th Starship prototype (SN10) was launched from SpaceX’s test facility in Boca Chica, Texas, flying about 10 kilometers into the air before falling back down and descending safely to Earth.
About 10 minutes later, the spacecraft blew up, from what appears to have been a methane leak. Still, the actual objectives of the mission were met.
According to MIT:
What’s the big deal? This is the first time Starship has landed safely after a high-altitude flight. SN8 was flown on December 9 and went up 12.5 km into the air before it crashed in an explosive wreck when it hit the ground too fast. SN9, flown February 2 to 10 km in altitude, experienced virtually the same fate during its attempted landing. Both missions attempted to use only two of the spacecraft’s three engines to land. SN10, on the other hand, utilized all three, nailing the vertical landing, albeit ending up a little lopsided.
What’s the Starship? It’s the vehicle that SpaceX is developing to one day send astronauts to the moon, Mars, and other destinations beyond Earth’s orbit. It’s 50 meters tall, weighs over 1,270 metric tons when loaded with fuel, and is supposed to be able to take more than 100 tons of cargo and passengers into deep space. In its final form, Starship sits on top of the Super Heavy rocket (currently in development) and doubles as a second-stage booster. Both the Super Heavy and Starship itself will use the company’s methane-fueled Raptor engines.
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What’s next: That’s not entirely clear. SpaceX has now proved that Starship can fly high into the air and land safely. SN11 might undergo the same flight, or the company might subject it to some other testing. But SpaceX is definitely closer to its goal to fly Starship into space sometime this year. CEO Elon Musk has previously expressed hopes of launching people to Mars by 2026 or even 2024.
This story is developing..
Kari is an ex-Community Organizer who writes about Voter Engagement, Cultural Marxism and Campaigns. She has been a grassroots volunteer with the GOP, on and off for 18 years. She is a Homeschool Mom in North Carolina and loves Photojournalism and Citizen Journalism. @Saorsa1776