Elon Musk has been working towards reaching Mars for the better part of a decade now, and the culmination of all his efforts-the Starship rocket, is finally being tested. This space ship will be used to make trips to Mars, and it currently in the prototype stage. While it looks like the company has figured out how to make it ‘go’, ‘stopping’ seems out of hand for the time being. SN10, the latest iteration of Starship prototypes, exploded in grand fashion yesterday, after what looked like successful landing for a moment.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 3, 2021
This was during the second attempt to fly the ship, after the company had to cancel the first one due to slightly conservative high thrust limit. Elon Musk said that they are working on increasing the thrust limit, and possibly going for a second attempt.
Launch abort on slightly conservative high thrust limit. Increasing thrust limit & recycling propellant for another flight attempt today.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2021
However, in retrospect, that might not have been a wise decision.
The prototype flew perfectly, and was close to landing when flames started erupting from the bottom. The crew gathered in attempts to put out the fires, and when there was a ‘soft’ landing, they got right to work. It must be mentioned that this was the first soft landing for a Starship prototype, after the last two attempts had resulted in explosions as well.
However, as ‘soft’ as the landing as well, looks like it was not good enough, as just a few minutes later, the rocket exploded. This, coming after SpaceX had declared the landing mission a success, surprised audiences. The company did not offer any immediate explanation for this incident.
While the rocket may have ended up in bad shape, SpaceX has been working consistently to make Starship a reality. With multiple prototype launches in a couple of months, it might not be long before we see an actual soft landing.