The latest Starship prototype had reportedly gone out in a blaze of glory while completing what SpaceX hoped to achieve. The particular Starship SN10 spacecraft had reportedly touched down successfully even after a high-altitude test flight that happened on March 3. This was reportedly a major milestone for the company as well as its crewed Mars ambitions.
SpaceX SN10 Launch
The vehicle, however, still did not manage to hold itself together, according to the reports of Space, as it still exploded just eight minutes after having landed. The enormous stainless-steel SN10, which is basically short for "Serial No. 10," had been launched from SpaceX's South Texas site previously at 6:15 PM EST or 23:15 GMT, and was able to rise all the way up to 6.2 miles in the sky before smoothly coming back to Earth for quite a smooth touchdown just six minutes and 20 seconds after the initial liftoff.
This was reportedly the third high-altitude test flight for the SpaceX Starship vehicle, but it was the very first to feature a widely successful landing. The SN10's two immediate predecessors namely the SN9 and SN8 reportedly flew well during their own jaunts both on Dec. 9, 2020 and Feb. 2, respectively. However, both of the rockets reportedly hit the ground quite hard and still ended up in pieces.
Tim Sweeny Comments on SpaceX Launch
John Insprucker, the current SpaceX principal integration engineer, noted on the recent SpaceX launch webcast that third time's a charm and they all had a successful soft touchdown on the landing pad that is still capping a beautiful test flight of the newer Starship 10.
Aside from just scientists and engineers in the space industry, the recent launch has also been noticed by the CEO of a gaming company, Tim Sweeney from Epic Games. Sweeney is not only the current CEO but is also reportedly the founder of Epic Games and he had something to say regarding the recent launch.
Elon Musk Explains What Happened
According to Tim Sweeny on Twitter, in rocketry in general, the recent happening is actually a rare event that might just happen maybe once or twice in an entire engineer's career. He then noted that the great thing about being a game developer is basically that they can experience some similar things every day just in the normal course of debugging and writing the code.
Elon Musk then came into the picture to explain that it was actually "super fun." The Tesla and SpaceX CEO then explained that the thrust was quite low despite being commanded high for certain unknown reasons and thus the hard touchdown. He then admitted that the company has never seen that happen before.
Musk then noted that next time, there will be a minimum of two engines all the way directly to the ground and they will have to restart Engine 3 if Engines 1 or 2 experiences issues.
Was super fun tbh haha— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2021