SpaceX spacecraft prototype explodes after “soft landing”
The third time was almost the charm of SpaceX’s last flight test.
On Wednesday, the space company led by Elon Musk performed a test flight of its prototype SN10 spacecraft and made a soft landing although the landing legs appeared to be malfunctioning and a fire appeared to have started. turn on when the vehicle has landed. A few minutes later, the spacecraft exploded on the airstrip.
The test saw the spacecraft fly over 6 miles and perform a “belly flop” maneuver before straightening up to land vertically with a slight bank.
Musk shared a positive reaction to the test.
“The SN10 spacecraft landed in one piece,” he tweeted.
ELON MUSK’S SPACEX ARRIVES IN AUSTIN WITH A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART MANUFACTURING PLANT
The unmanned flight was SpaceX’s third high-altitude suborbital test for one of its prototype Starship spacecraft. The last test, at the beginning of February, ended with the explosion of the SN9 prototype during its descent.
The reusable spacecraft – when not exploding – uses an on-board computer to control its descent to a landing pad. SpaceX instructed the Starship to perform a “flip landing maneuver” before landing, again using the Raptor engines to slow its descent and land vertically.
An earlier launch attempt on Wednesday was aborted “on a slightly conservative high thrust limit,” Musk tweeted. “Thrust limit increased and thruster recycling for another flight attempt today.”
The SN10 prototype was powered by three of SpaceX’s Raptor engines.
The vessel is 160 feet tall and has a diameter of 30 feet. It’s designed to carry both passengers and cargo, and SpaceX claims it can carry over 100 metric tons into orbit.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
It is one of three spacecraft that NASA has planned for future lunar missions, and SpaceX has said it plans its spacecraft to eventually travel to Mars. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is set to become one of SpaceX’s first civilian passengers on a mission that will perform a lunar flyby, according to SpaceX. This flight is currently scheduled for 2023.
The test flight took place at SpaceX’s facilities in Boca Chica, Texas. Musk recently made a personal move to Lone Star State, and FOX Business announced this week that SpaceX is adding a third facility in Texas with a manufacturing facility in Austin.