American entrepreneur Ilon Musk, whofounded Tesla and SpaceX, literally obsessed with his desire to move people to Mars. To send the first settlers to the Red Planet, he wants to use the Starship spacecraft, which is currently under development and is being tested. During a recent test, he was supposed to fly up to a 20-meter height with the help of a completely new Raptor rocket engine, but at the very beginning of the test he was engulfed in flames.
According to company representatives, the cause of the firebecame the ignition of the fuel used in the rocket engine. Unlike other engines, it uses methane instead of kerosene as fuel. It is believed that it provides much more security and is much cheaper. Ilon Musk, by the way, has long sought to reduce the cost of space flight - he believes that he is under the power to launch rockets for only 5-7 million dollars. For comparison, the launch cost of the Irtysh rocket developed by Roscosmos is estimated at $ 60 million.
Starship ship explosion from SpaceX
Although the fire looks great,Experts believe that he did not damage the design of the test ship. For example, astrophysicist from Harvard University, Jonathan McDowell, is sure of this. In any case, accurate information on the state of the apparatus will be available from SpaceX representatives - employees of the company are already assessing the damage caused by fire.
The only thing that is clear at the moment isthe fact that a small flight of the ship at a height of 20 meters is transferred to another term. It remains to hope that the second attempt will be successful, because after it the company intends to lift the ship to an altitude of 20 kilometers. If it goes on like this, and the preliminary version of the ship proves its working capacity, the first flight of a full-fledged Starship will be completed as early as 2021.
This is interesting: the SpaceX Raptor rocket engine broke the record of the Russian RD-180
It is expected that the spacecraft will accommodateup to 100 passengers. In addition to flying to the moon and mars, he will be engaged in the rapid transport of people from one city to another. Testing the company's engines is particularly important, because in the final version of the ship they will be installed as many as 6 pieces. At the moment, the ship seems to be small, but over time it will increase in size and acquire a pointed head fairing.
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