SpaceX Starship explodes on landing during a test
On February 2, SpaceX finally launched its Starship prototype the SN9. While the launch did not go to plan, with the rocket exploding as it attempted to land, the mission provided valuable data for SpaceX and its goal to eventually get humans to Mars.
Just hours before the launch of the SN9, a satellite managed to spot the rocket, as well as the SN10, on the launch pad from space.
The image was taken by a SkySat satellite, which is operated by the San Francisco-based company Planet.
Planet has a fleet of 21 SkySat satellites in orbit, all monitoring different parts of Earth.
One such image happened to be along the Texas coast, where SpaceX tested Starship.
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In the image from Planet, the two huge rockets can be seen on the launch pad, just “hours” before the launch of SN9.
Planet said alongside the pic: “SN9’s sister ship is visible slightly above and to the right, and the landing pad is the concrete square closer to the beach.
“This high-resolution SkySat image reveals details of the test facility, even the colour of individual cars and trucks parked nearby.
“The test successfully demonstrated control of the rocket during subsonic flight, but the rocket crashed and exploded during the landing attempt.”
While the SN9 launch ended in disaster, the mission was partly a success.
SpaceX engineer John Insprucker said, despite the explosion, the future of Starship looks in good health.
He said during the live stream of the launch: “We demonstrated the ability to transition the engines to the landing propellant tanks, the subsonic reentry looked very good and stable.
“We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit.”
SpaceX has not been deterred by the SN9 explosion, and will soon launch the SN10.
However, the company is yet to disclose when the launch of the SN10 will take place, and what the test will involve, although a flight is inevitable.
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