SpaceX's Starship rocket lands but then explodes

  • 8 months   ago
The SpaceX company has managed to land one of its Starship prototypes at the end of a high-altitude test flight.
Serial Number 10 (SN10) touched down in Boca Chica, Texas - in contrast to its predecessors SN8 and SN9, which crashed into the ground.
But that wasn't the end of the story. The next-generation space vehicle put down heavily on its extended legs.
A fire then developed around its base and eight minutes later SN10 blew itself apart on the landing pad.
Nonetheless, SpaceX will be hugely encouraged by the test and the fact that the prototype successfully executed its in-flight manoeuvres and managed to make a reasonably soft landing. These milestones will give the company confidence as it moves forward with the ambitious concept.
SpaceX envisages Starships replacing its existing Falcon rockets.
These vehicles carry out regular missions - both crewed and uncrewed - for the US space agency (Nasa), the American military, and other commercial concerns.
But CEO Elon Musk says the new 50m-tall Starship will do it all, bigger and better - orbiting satellites and carrying passengers, both around the Earth and to off-world destinations such as the Moon and Mars.
Indeed, he's promised a lunar excursion in 2023 to the Japanese online fashion retail billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
Mr Maezawa will travel in a Starship with eight other individuals, and opened applications this week to anyone who might be interested in joining his "dearMoon" venture.

Source: BBC