SpaceX has successfully landed its SN10 Starship prototype at the end of a high-altitude flight test. However, just moments after it landed, a fire developed around the base of the rocket and eight minutes after, the SN10 exploded on the landing pad.
With the help of the thrust of three methane-burning Raptor engines, the SN10 left the Boca Chica R&D facility, rising vertically. The power units shut down at the target height of approximately 6.2 miles (10 km) and the SN10 landed well, slowing rapidly prior to the explosion.
Though the journey of the SN10 appears to end on a negative, the performance of this prototype exceeds its SN8 and SN9 predecessors, which both crashed into the ground before fully launching to the designated altitude. The fact that SpaceX was able to successfully execute in-flight maneuvers as long as managing a reasonably soft landing, the milestone is an up-tick in the company’s development.
SpaceX expects the Starships to replace its existing Falcon rockets to carry out regular missions, both with and without crew. The company hopes to expand its partnerships with NASA, the American military as well as other commercial companies. CEO, Elon Musk had recently alluded to the fact that the Starship will soon be able to do it all, including orbiting satellites and carrying passengers to the Moon, Mars or just circling the Earth.
Just recently, Musk confirmed and promised a lunar excursion for Japanese billionaire Yusaka Maezawa and eight artists.
In case you missed it, Elon Musk announces plans to start Texas City called “Spacebase”.