What’s wrong with SpaceX’s rocketship explosion?

Starship SN8, also known as the prototype, Flew in the air for about five minutes while flying over the Gulf of Mexico, reminding us of how the company lands its employee Falcon 9 rockets before returning to the SpaceX launch site. SpaceX will help gather data on how SN8 can re-enter Earth’s atmosphere after returning from an extraterrestrial mission, and this will help the aircraft make an accurate landing.

However, Starship SN8 did not escape this test. During the final extension of its Wednesday flight, a problem with the fuel system caused the rocket to fall to the ground and explode in a colorful explosion.

SpaceX’s flagship starship lands in rural Texas. (Abi)

Kasturi sparked this work with yet another success.

“The fuel header tank pressure was low when landing, so the touchdown speed was high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed!” Kasturi said in a tweet. (RUD stands for “rapid unplanned extraction” or, in Libersen terms, a rocket explosion.)

The SpaceX rocket is known to embrace fiery accidents during the development process. The company believes such crashes are a quick and efficient way to collect data, an approach that sets the company apart from its closest partner NASA, which prefers slower, more systematic testing than dramatic expansion-ups.

But Wednesday’s test flight went much better than many expected, after giving the Musk vehicle a one – third chance of escaping the test flight.

Elon Musk is one of the richest men in the world.
Elon Musk is one of the richest men in the world. (Cartridge)

After unexpectedly stopping the countdown clock during an earlier launch attempt on Wednesday, SpaceX refueled the SN8 and the CD at 4:40 p.m. That was 20 minutes before the SpaceX launch window closed. The company must start within a specified period of time approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that it does not interfere with the launch of aircraft or ferry traffic.

Large steam can be seen escaping from the rocket during refueling.

But it’s just oxygen, which stays very cold inside the rocket so it stays liquid, while excess oxygen boils from the sides when it touches the hot Texas air. Since atmospheric oxygen on the spacecraft does not feed their engines into space, rocket engines have to carry their own oxygen on board to interact with the fuel, giving the engines their fiery impetus. SpaceX’s starship is powered by liquid oxygen – also known as LOX – and methane. SpaceX chose methane over a fuel called RP-1 because methane fuel could theoretically be produced on the Moon or Mars. This makes gas a wise choice for rockets charged for long-distance travel in the solar system.

In this image, taken from a video released by SpaceX, the company's starship sinks into flames and wreckage after being touched down after a test flight.
This image, taken from a video released by SpaceX, shows the company’s starship sinking into flames and wreckage when it touches down after a test flight. (Abi)

When the countdown clock struck zero, the SN8 fired its three large raptor rocket engines, each of which could give six times more propulsion than a single engine in a Boeing 747, according to the SpaceX website.

SN8 then left the launch pad and began to climb over southern Texas terrain.

Within two minutes of the flight, one of the three Raptor engines was running down. Since SpaceX has not released a detailed flight plan for this test, it is unclear whether everything worked out as intended. But Musk suggested on Twitter that the first leg of the flight went as planned.

About a minute later, another of the three Raptor engines stopped, leaving one engine to power the rest of the SN8’s climb.

About five minutes after the flight, the final raptor engine stopped firing. Although it is not clear how high the vehicle traveled, SpaceX’s goal rocket is to reach 40,000 feet or more.

After reaching the peak of its course, the SN8 began to roll, modifying the rocket to fall sideways.

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This reflects how Musk described Starship’s intended landing method during the September 2019 media event. He referred to it as a unique maneuver in which the rocket pushes its stomach back through the air and points its abdomen towards the earth. This is a maneuver aimed at reflecting on how a skydiver falls through the air, rather than the direct vertical descent to Earth they use when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets land.

As the starship approaches the ground, the rocket will ignite its engines and the vehicle will return to an upright position shortly before touchdown.

The SpaceX starship exploded in flames.
The SpaceX starship exploded in flames. (Abi)

To make that possible, the SN8’s raptor engines are designed to be “kimble”, meaning slight highlighting from side to side, and “at the throttle”, ie adjusting the amount of thrust each engine emits, giving maximum accuracy to the rocket maneuvering through the air. SN8 is a reaction control system or RCS. Has, which refers to small thrusts mounted on the outside of the rocket. They, too, help guide the acrobatics of the craft, and can be seen firing at the top of the rocket.

SN8 followed that movement on Tuesday. Shortly before Touchdown, all three Raptor engines were re-activated, the rocket was rearranged, and it reached its designated landing site precisely.

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However, due to a last-minute problem with the pressure in the fuel tank of the SN8, the landing purpose did not go smoothly. The apple-green flames – as a result of burning chemicals in the engine flame – fell to the ground as the SN8 quickly sank through a large fire and smoke.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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