- Tram Ho
SpaceX’s newest Starship prototype landed successfully for the first time yesterday on March 3, after taking a test flight in Texas. However, it exploded a few minutes later on its own landing pad.
The missile, the original prototype called the SN10, performed some intricate mid-air dances before lightly hitting the ground vertically, marking a milestone in Elon Musk’s campaign. to build a completely reusable missile system.
After canceling an initial deployment attempt earlier in the day, the prototype was launched and moved about 10km above SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site in Texas. Unlike the previous two tests with the SN8 and SN9, which successfully launched but exploded when attempting to land, the SN10 landed misaligned on a concrete slab not far from its launch pad, and appears to still exist. during a daring landing for a few seconds before being ruined by a fireball.
SN10 performs a “crunch”.
The main objective of this launch test is to demonstrate that the computer-controlled movements of the rocket’s four aerodynamic blades will direct its landing before landing, according to John Insprucker, an engineer. SpaceX is also a live host for the company’s broadcast.
When it reaches a certain height, the three Raptor engines of the rocket will gradually close in turn in preparation for a free fall to return to Earth. However, it will then reorient itself horizontally with its “belly” facing the ground.
Next, the most important is the “abdominal crunch”. At this time, the three engines of the missile were reactivated so that the missile reoriented itself in the vertical position to land.
Yesterday’s test session, the SN10 slowly lowered to the landing pad, touching down quite gently but tilted slightly to the side. Engineer Insprucker declared this a success and called it a “soft touch”.
“Again, the key to today’s test flight is to collect data on vehicle control while returning, and we have succeeded in doing so,” he said.
The SpaceX live feed ended before the SN10 exploded. However, another feed, provided by the NASA Spaceflight website, kept the camera recording footage of the rocket being swallowed by the fireball and then tossing it into the air before falling back to the ground.
Musk shared about the event on Twitter, to celebrate that SN10 has made a successful landing. However, he also joked 2 minutes later that the missile had had an “honorable discharge”.
Elon Musk called the blast “an honorary discharge.”
The Starship is SpaceX’s next generation, fully reusable Mars rocket system. It is designed to transport astronauts and 100 tons of cargo during future missions to orbit the Earth, Moon and eventually Mars. The last three prototypes that SpaceX tested had an early version of the Starship system, and the bottom half was a reusable super-heavy turbocharger powered by an array of rocket engines. The company’s new Raptor.
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Source : Genk