Published: Wed, February 03, 2021
Science | By

SpaceX Starship crashes after suborbital flight

SpaceX Starship crashes after suborbital flight

The Starship SN9, which blew up on its final descent, was a test model of the heavy-lift rocket being developed by USA billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private space company.

"SN9's Raptor engines will then reignite as the vehicle attempts a landing flip maneuver immediately before touching down on the landing pad adjacent to the launch mount.

So are landings. Great test flight, @SpaceX!".

Delayed for unknown reasons when the FAA withheld a necessary launch license, Starship serial number 9 (SN9) was believed to be ready for an SN8-style launch debut as early as January 25th.

SpaceX crashed a second prototype of its new reusable Starship rocket today in the company's ongoing attempt to land one vertically at its south Texas launch facility.

"We just have to work on that landing a little bit", the commentator said, adding, "This is a test flight, the second time we've flown Starship in this configuration". There's no doubt a metric crapton of useful data to be gathered here, and it appears that much of the flight, prior to the fireball, went well: engines worked, engines were re-routed to separate landing propellant tank and the flap control systems seemed to be working, at least somewhat.

Ultimately, it appears that Tuesday is likely out of the question for Starship SN9's launch debut.

Last year SpaceX launched it first successful astronaut mission. After previously declining to comment on its investigation, which was first reported by The Verge, the FAA said Tuesday that it concluded this week that SpaceX took "corrective action" and is now complying with public safety rules.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who used Twitter to publicly bash the FAA last week, wrote Tuesday morning that he would be "Off Twitter for a while". The prototype spacecraft launched to a height of 6.2 miles (10km) after which it came plunging to the ground. The agency turned down the request, but the company proceeded anyway, the FAA said, the same day the agency approved a license for SpaceX to fly its next prototype.

This means FAA may already be on its way to a more streamlined approval process - regardless of Elon Musk's tweets.

SpaceX's prototype rocket took to the skies today (February 2) after a long month fraught with delays, bad weather and regulatory chaos.

When SN8 touched down on the launch pad, it ignited in flames - and, once the fire and smoke had cleared, all that was left was a pile of debris topped by what remained of the craft's nose cone.

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