SPACEX’s Starship SN10 Explodes On The Launch Pad after a successful landing
Elon Musk’s SpaceX team was ready for another test-launch from their Boca Chica, Texas facility on Wednesday afternoon (March 3), in the hope of the SN10 rocket achieving a successful take-off, flight, and then landing, after the previous attempts had all exploded upon landing.
The SN10 had been standing on the launch pad all day waiting for its chance to follow in the steps of the SN8 and SN9 prototypes, scheduled to take off at 3:20 pm ET, but moments after the Raptor engines ignited the onboard computers detected a problem and activated an abort.
Shortly after the abort, Musk tweeted saying, “Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit. Increasing thrust limit & recycling propellant for another flight attempt today”.
The SpaceX team quickly got to work detanking and refuelling the 165-foot stainless steel rocket in the hope that it would be ready for another attempted takeoff later in the day, and sure enough, it was.
A successful launch saw the SN10 follow the same path as both the SN8 and SN9, soaring through the sky, propelled by its three powerful Raptor engines that turned off one by one until only a single engine was left, reaching the six-mile mark after only four minutes, hovering above the earth, before making its trademark ‘belly flop’ onto its side ready for the descent.
As SN10 headed back to the launch pad, touching down gently, it re-orientated itself to land vertically, and everybody started celebrating, then suddenly, the rocket exploded into a ball of flames.
Even though the rocket had exploded, Musk said the mission was deemed a success as the objective had been to gather data on how to control it during re-entry, which it had done, but, they had no forthcoming explanation as to what caused the explosion.
— Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) March 3, 2021
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