Starship Completes High-Altitude Test Flight, Explodes During Landing

SpaceX Completes Starship SN8's High Altitude Flight Test Crashes on Landing

SpaceX Completes Starship SN8's High Altitude Flight Test Crashes on Landing

The test flight was scheduled for their aerodynamic test of the SN8 (Starship No. 8) and its three engines, including when the ship returns to Earth - this happens vertically, on the same nerve as SpaceX's predecessor Falcon 9 rocket.

The SpaceX Starship SN8 test vehicle launches successfully as part of a 12.5 kilometer high-altitude test flight from Boca Chica, Texas. The company in a statement said, "Low pressure in the fuel header tank during the landing burn led to high touchdown velocity resulting in a hard landing". "Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah".

In a last-minute surprise, SpaceX appears to have secured NASA support for Starship SN8's first flight in the form of a space agency reconnaissance jet often used to capture aerial photos and videos of spaceflight events. Previous tests involving Starhopper, SN5, and SN6, only reached a maximum altitude of 500 feet, and were relatively primitive compared to SN8, which was the first test vehicle to feature a nose cone and working flaps.

"Even reaching apogee would've been great, so controlling all way to putting the crater in the right spot was epic!" he wrote adding: "Mars, here we come!" The impact of the unoccupied rocket then engulfed the landing site in flames.

SpaceX intends to use Starship to put massive satellites into orbit around Earth, besides delivering people and cargo to the moon and Mars.

Beyond that development milestone, SpaceX has won a contract from NASA to devise a version of Starship that can land astronauts on the moon in 2024.

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The prototype experienced a "hard landing" after its successful ascent, a ideal flip maneuver to position itself for a landing before it exploded, seconds after touching the ground. Chief Executive Officer Musk tweeted shortly after the flight.

SpaceX made its first attempt to launch Starship on Tuesday, but a problem with its Raptor engines forced an automatic abort just one second before liftoff. After 4 minutes and 45 seconds of flight, its third engine extinguished and the rocket began its descent in its expected position.

The Starship is a reusable transportation system that SpaceX hopes will someday carry the first humans to Mars.

Smaller prototypes have already blasted off several hundred yards (meters) into the air for less than a minute as part of a series of tests aimed at developing the next generation of rockets from the company at lightening speed. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter.

Its Raptor engines reignited for braking and Starship tilted back upright.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is now scheduled to pay an undisclosed sum to take Starship for a spin around the Moon in 2023 - at the earliest.

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