SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes While Landing Despite Successful Launch

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SpaceX has earned a steady streak of success when it comes to sending off rockets to space. The latest SpaceX Starship rocket, however, seems to be having some trouble. The next-gen prototype Starship rocket lifted off successfully, but exploded during landing. The mishap occurred after the rocket reached its pre-determined altitude of 10 KM.

SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes While Landing

 

SpaceX Starship SN9 Explodes

The SpaceX Starship SN9 that exploded during the test was similar to the test conducted back in December 2020. Back then, the SpaceX Starship SN8 was able to lift off successfully and even reach the highest and longest flight time. However, the SN8 had a similar crash landing, where the rocket exploded.

The SpaceX Starship SN9 launch was delayed for a week. This was because SpaceX needed FAA's permission to launch after the SN8 flight violated the existing Starship license. Reports from CNBC quote the FAA saying, "SpaceX proceeded with the launch without demonstration that the public risk from far-field blast overpressure was within the regulatory criteria." The far-field blast refers to the explosion of SN8 here.

SpaceX Starship Crucial For Space Missions: Here's Why

SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker commented, "we had, again, another great flight up ... we've just got to work on that landing a little bit," on the webcast of the flight. Both the SpaceX Starship SN9 and the SN8 prototype rockets are made of stainless steel. These are the rockets that CEO Elon Musk showed off last year.

 

Despite both SN8 and the SN9 suffering a similar fate of explosion, SpaceX notes the test flights are a way forward. The leading private space company now believes the Starship SN10 will be successful. Plus, SpaceX already had the SN10 ready in place as soon as the SN9 lifted off.

These rockets have a bigger mission in the future, where SpaceX plans to launch cargo and about 100 people on missions to the Moon and Mars. The SpaceX Starship rockets are believed to be crucial for NASA's Mars mission. SpaceX is already gearing up for the next test, which is expected to come with improvements and upgrades.

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