A prototype of SpaceX’s future giant Starship rocket – which the company hopes will become its favorite target Mars Missions – Crashed in a blast blast during a test launch along the Texas coast Wednesday.
But the company’s streak was upbeat as the live broadcast of the launch displayed the on-screen message “Wonderful test. Congratulations to the star team!”
List the successful parts of the missile’s short flight in the late afternoon: takeoff, change of position in flight, and exact landing trajectory (before the explosion).
“We got all the data we need! Congratulations to the SpaceX team,” chirp.
The test launch took off on Wednesday and apparently correctly ascended in a straight line, before one of its engines went out and then another. After 4 minutes and 45 seconds into the flight, its third engine turned off and the missile began to land at its expected position.
The engines were restarted just seconds before landing in an attempt to slow the ship, but it hit the ground hard.
Already smaller prototypes were launched several hundreds of yards (meters) in the air for less than a minute as part of a series of tests aimed at developing the company’s next generation of missiles at lightning speed.
After several attempts this week were aborted, the flight was streamed live on the SpaceX Twitter account.
The test flight is planned to check the SN8 (Spacecraft # 8) massive metal hull and its three engines for its aerodynamics, including during the ship’s return to Earth – which occurs vertically, in the same context as SpaceX’s flagship Falcon 9 rocket.
“With a test like this, success is not measured by completing specific goals, but rather by how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the likelihood of success in the future as SpaceX progresses rapidly in developing the Starship,” a statement about the company’s website said, indicating that An explosion or crash would not mean a mission failure even before launch.
The construction of the next prototype SN9 has already been completed.
The test flights are taking place in a semi-deserted part of southern Texas on the Gulf of Mexico near the US-Mexico border – an area that is empty enough that any disruption to the flight is unlikely to cause material or property damage.
Musk recently announced that he plans to move from California to the vast southern state of the United States.
Any future completed missile will be equipped with 37 engines instead of nine, will have a height of 120 meters (390 feet) and be able to carry 100 tons of cargo into orbit.
Musk hopes that one day he will be able to launch many of these spaceships to Mars, although they could be useful even in the short term as NASA looks to re-establish a continued presence on the moon in 2024.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is currently set to pay an undisclosed sum to take the Starship for a tour around the Moon in 2023 – at the earliest.
© Agence France-Presse