As Elon Musk’s SpaceX company continues to forge and work towards the idea of commercial space travel and interplanetary commute, so too does testing continue towards making that goal functional and safe. SpaceX recently rolled out another test flight of its Starship prototype series. Dubbed the SN9, the rocket was able to launch successfully in South Texas. However, it ran into issues in the landing process which ultimately ended in an explosive landing.
The SpaceX Starship SN9 flight took place on February 2, 2021, as reported by Phys.org. Launching out of Boca Chica, Texas, the SN9 rocket was able to successfully lift off. During the test flight, the rocket moved in horizontal fashion, doing several maneuvers during flight. However, when it came time to turn itself upright for landing, the rocket ran into problems. The rocket came down too quickly at a bad angle and was unable to correct. It crash landed and exploded, emitting fire and dust. Thankfully, no nearby fires were caused by the crash.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 2, 2021
Despite the crash, officials at SpaceX still feel optimistic about how the flight went and its contribution to further testing.
“We had again another great flight,” a SpaceX announcer claimed during footage of the flight. “We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit.”
SpaceX has had a fairly busy late 2020 and early 2021. Just a day ago, it was announced that SpaceX would be launching Inspiration4, which would be the company’s first commercial flight to orbit the Earth. Furthermore, in late 2020, SpaceX partnered with Microsoft to integrate the latter’s Azure Cloud capabilities into its Starlink satellite internet services.
There are certainly going to be setbacks as SpaceX continues to determine what works and what does not, but unfortunately, Starship SN9 is another lesson learned for the company.