SpaceX Starship SN10 Explodes after Successful Landing

The Starship Prototype of the SpaceX was exploded shortly after it made its successful landing on March 3, 2021 for the first time after a high-altitude flight test.

Key Facts

The reason for the explosion of the prototype was not immediately clear. However, it was being referred “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly” by the company.

Background

SpaceX test flew the Starship rocket Serial Number 10 (SN10) and it has aimed to launch the prototype at the height of 10 kilometres or at around 32,800 feet altitude. The rocket was not carrying any passengers on board because it was a development vehicle and it flies autonomously. The last two prototypes namely the SN8 and SN9 reached to the high altitudes in December 2020 and February 2021 but they slammed into ground at Boca Chica in Texas and got exploded. Each of these three test flights lasted for around six minutes.

SpaceX Starship system

It is a fully reusable, two-stage-to-orbit heavy-lift launch vehicle. It is developed by SpaceX. The system comprises of a booster stage called Super Heavy. The second stage of the vehicle is called as Starship. The second stage of the vehicle was designed as a long-duration cargo. The system also comprises of a passenger-carrying spacecraft. It will serve as second stage as well as the in-space long-duration orbital spaceship. the development of engine for this system was started in 2012 while the starship development started in 2016. This is a self-funded private spaceflight project. Testing of the second stage Starship started in 2019.

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