Elon Musk’s space exploration company, SpaceX finally managed to successfully land its Starship rocket after two earlier failed attempts. However, just a few minutes after the landing, the rocket exploded, being thrown into the air and crashing back on the ground. No explanation for this was provided during the live broadcast of the test flight, although Musk an hour later jokingly tweeted that the “Starship SN10 landed in one piece!” Also Read - SpaceX Starlink satellite internet likely to be available in India soon, Elon Musk hints
Starship SN10 landed in one piece! https://t.co/lO4AF47MaN Also Read - Elon Musk turns 50: Five coolest tech-related things he did via Tesla, SpaceX and more
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 4, 2021 Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service gets 5 million users, Elon Musk says full service most likely
Starship is a rocket that SpaceX is developing and testing in Boca Chica Village, Texas to one day send to Mars.
Starship SN10 took off at around 4:50 AM IST from SpaceX‘s Boca Chica facility, and reached a height of six miles (10 kilometres), where it assumed a horizontal position. Then the rocket regained a vertical position to begin its descent. All of this was going perfectly until the propulsors caught fire. By the time the rocket landed a majority of the base of the rocket was on fire, which the workers were trying to extinguish. After a few minutes, the rocket exploded and took off into the air again before crashing once more.
No explanation as to what caused the explosion has been provided, but it could just be that the fire got a bit too out of hand and reached the fuel compartment, which then caused the explosion. However, nothing is certain until and unless the company puts out an official statement.
Musk in a follow-up tweet stated that the “SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace.”
What happened with the earlier Starship test flights?
The two earlier Starship prototypes (SN8 and SN9) blew up during their test runs back in December and early February.
What happens when Starship is operational?
If and when the rocket becomes operational, it will conduct commercial flights to and from Mars. It could also be used for closer trips, like to the Moon. This when functional will become the first private space flight beyond Earth’s orbit.