A SpaceX Starship prototype rocket, SN11, containing no crew, failed to land safely on Tuesday, after its test launch from Boca Chica, Texas. Space X engineer John Insprucker said in a webcast video said, “We do appear to have lost all the data from the vehicle. We’re going to have to find out from the team what happened”
The website footage of how the rocket landed was obscured by fog, making difficult to see. Debris from the spacecraft was found scattered some eight km away from its landing site. The rocket, or Starship (as the rockets are called), was one in a series of prototypes for the heavy-lift rocket being developed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private space company, SpaceX, to convey humans and 100 tons of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars.
Starship SN11’s failed test launch is preceded by previous failures. Starships SN8 and SN9 previously exploded upon landing during their test runs, and SN10 went up in flames about eight minutes after touchdown. The Starships are the pivot on which Elon Musk’s ambition of making human space travel more affordable and regular, revolve. The complete Starship rocket; SpaceX’s next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle, will stand 120 metres tall with the inclusion of a super-heavy first-stage booster.
After Starship SN11’s test flight, Elon Musk tweeted, “Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed. Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.”
Spaceship SN11 took to the skies but missed its landing which was not as expected. Something obviously went wrong and this has gotten engineers investigating the occurrence. The flight was the company’s second flight test of a Starship rocket this month. It was initially scheduled for Monday afternoon but was pushed forward to Tuesday due to the inability of an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make it to the launching site on time on Monday. According to the latest launch license, an inspector is required to be on site for all Starship launches.