SpaceX’s Starship SN10 explodes after landing

SpaceX attempted another test flight with a Starship on Tuesday (Texas time). The start and flight of the SN10 were successful. The landing also looked successful at first, although the Starship stood there like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But then the spaceship took off again, carried by a powerful explosion.

A fire at the foot of the spaceship could be seen in the live broadcast of SpaceX. Automatic fire extinguishers went into action. The spokesman was happy about a “nice soft landing” and congratulated the staff. Then the broadcast ended.

But several third party transmissions continued. That should pay off: When the fire seemed to be brought under control, there was an explosion that could be heard for miles. Driven by this, the spaceship took off again briefly about 14 minutes after the actual start and immediately fell back into the fireball. The cause could be methane leaked from the tanks of the brake engines.

SpaceX’s Starship SN10 explodes after landing

This recording shows the explosion after about 10 hours 39 minutes.

In December, SpaceX’s Starship SN8 shattered on landing. It was the first flight of a Starship at a height of several kilometers. At the next attempt, a month ago, SpaceX’s Starship crashed again on landing. At that time, the Starship SN9 hit the ground at an angle.

The aim of the development is a spaceship that can be reused very quickly and can fly up to three times a day or 1000 times a year. One of these spaceships should be able to bring 150 tons of cargo into space and 50 tons of cargo to earth.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk believes his Starships are the “fastest route to a self-sustaining city on Mars”. The billionaire even thinks it is possible to travel to other planets. Musk had announced the first flights with people on board for 2020, which turned out to be too optimistic.

SpaceX would like to send four space tourists around the world this year. You will not climb a Starship, however, but a Crew Dragon space capsule at the tip of a Falcon 9 rocket. The Starship SN11 should be brought to the launch pad “very soon” for the next test flight. After the accident on Tuesday, however, the launch pad needs to be cleared out, inspected and repaired.


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