SpaceX’s SN10 starship was the successor of the SN9 that crashed badly. And Elon Musk did say that the SN10 has a 60% chance of landing. This is the sole reason why there were high hopes from SpaceX’s latest starship iteration. And well, the starship did land properly but caught fire once it did. So, it had to be extinguished using water at the landing site, but then it exploded. We could say that the launch was more successful compared to the previous ones, but still, there is a lot of work to do.
Crash landings of SN8 and SN9
The launch of the SN8 and the SN9 were pieces of art, and both had a great test flight. The starships rose to huge heights and were doing great. They even performed a belly flip in the middle of the air and showed us what an excellent piece of engineering the starship is. But both faltered at one zone that is the landing. The crash of the SN8 was huge, and according to the reports we got, it was due to the low pressure in the fuel tank.
After this happened, we thought that the landing of the SN9 will be fine as now we know the problem. But that didn’t happen either. When landing, one of the boosters of the SN9 didn’t light up, and hence the speed of the rocket was too much for the landing. And after this happened, the principal integration engineer at SpaceX did say that they have to work on the landing part and the majority of the entire test flight was fine.
SpaceX’s SN10 starship launch and landing
There were huge issues with the SN10 test flight launch. One of them was the FAA; they were closely investigating the crashes of the SN8 and the SN9. And only when they were satisfied that those launches were safe and didn’t violate their safety requirements they gave the launch license for the SN10. After this, the pre-flight testing, including the static fire test, was done. During this one of the engines was replaced due to some hardware issues in it.
And then finally, after a long wait, the starship was launched for test-flight on 3rd March. It rose to huge heights and did a belly flip like its predecessors and then came down to land. This time around, the thrusters light up properly, and it did seem that the rocket landed perfectly with some flames that were being extinguished. If you take a look at SpaceX’s video, the mission ended here, but what happened after this was catastrophic. After just a few minutes, there was a huge explosion, and the rocket rose several meters high and crashed. You can take a look at what happened in this video:
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
As of now, no information about why this happened has been provided by Elon Musk or SpaceX. But still, we can consider the mission a success. What are your thoughts on the same? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.