In early December, founded by Elon MuskSpaceX has conducted yet another test of the Starship spacecraft prototype. In the future, it is planned to be used to quickly transport people between cities and flights to distant planets like Mars. During the test, the Starship SN8 prototype was able to climb to an altitude of 12 kilometers, but did not have time to brake during landing and crashed. It may seem that this is a big setback for SpaceX and the next test will not pass soon. However, in early 2021 there will be even more Starship launches, so space lovers will not be bored. This was announced by Elon Musk himself and told a lot of interesting things about SpaceX's plans for the near future.
Unsuccessful spacecraft landinghappened on December 10. The Starship SN8 prototype spacecraft has successfully ascended 12 kilometers from SpaceX's private launch site in Boca Chica, Texas. After that, he had to carry out a vertical descent to Earth, but did not have time to brake and exploded. Before that, one of his engines shut down, but that's okay. The company wants the ship to be at a 60-degree angle for part of the landing so it becomes less aerodynamic and slows down faster. Just before landing, he should have straightened up, but an explosion occurred.
My colleague wrote more about this incident.Alexander Bogdanov. He spoke about the cause of the explosion and the purpose of the SpaceX spacecraft. Also in his article is a video of the Starship crash. You can read and watch this link.
SpaceX's future tests
According to Elon Musk, after the failure, SpaceX willtest much more frequently. In Boca Chica, the company has two launch sites and will soon be used simultaneously. A prototype SN9 has already been installed on the so-called Pad B site. There is also Pad A, where another prototype will be installed. When exactly the next tests will be carried out, Elon Musk has not yet announced. But since one of the prototypes has already been installed, it obviously won't take long. All this was reported by the TechCrunch edition.
It is important to note that Starship is justthe top stage of a huge rocket for space travel. This stage may well enter Earth's orbit without a payload. But for space flights, a spacecraft needs a first stage and an accelerator. Their role will be played by the powerful Super Heavy rocket, which will be tested “within a few months”. Most likely, we are talking about the first half of 2021.
Our site also has a great article on how SpaceX is going to colonize Mars. Read this link.
It is believed that after these changes, the developmentStarship will be going much faster. The project is developing and it can be seen even in the appearance of the ship. Previously, it looked like an unsightly tin can, but now it looks more like a ship from science fiction films of the 20th century. How exactly it will look in the end is difficult to say. And all because the design is developed during testing, the company is constantly adding new elements.
Also worth remembering that Starship is a spaceship, and SuperHeavy is an accelerator. The structure will be able to transport up to 100 tons of cargo to low-earth orbit. The ship's capacity will be about 100 people. After landing, the ship will be ready for the next launch in two weeks.
SpaceX SN8 prototype test video
Despite the explosion, the flight of the SN8 prototype does not matterconsidered one of the most successful and effective. He was able to stay in the air for 6 minutes and 42 seconds. The maximum flight altitude was 12.5 kilometers. For some time he stayed in a horizontal position, proving that this accelerates braking.