Source: IrinaK, Shutterstock
- SpaceX’s Starship prototype had its third straight landing failure.
- The starship prototypes are made up of stainless steel and can carry up to 100 metric tons.
- Elon Musk plans to send people to Mars by as soon as 2023 via these starships.
Space Exploration Technology Corporation (SpaceX) had yet another flub that involved its Starship rocket prototype. On Wednesday, SpaceX’s unmanned rocket prototype, named SN-10, exploded on the ground after carrying out what seemed to be a successful landing.
The prototype lifted from SpaceX’s launch pad at about 5:15 PM EST from Texas and flew to an altitude of about 10km before turning back to its landing zone.
A few minutes later after the landing, flames started to come out from the bottom of the rocket, which the crew tried to put out. As the crew couldn’t get hold of the fire, the prototype exploded. However, no one was reported to be hurt or injured during this mishap.
It was the third straight failed attempt of the company’s ambitions of sending it to Mars one day. However, this attempt was better than the previous two, where the prototypes couldn’t even touch the ground successfully.
The starship prototypes are made up of stainless steel, and the company conceives these to be versatile and fully reusable and strong enough to carry 100 metric tons for deep space missions. These starships are also designed to serve as a hypersonic vehicle, which could significantly reduce travel time.
Elon Musk plans to send people to Mars by as soon as 2023 via this starship. There is still a long way to go, and the company still needs to prepare the starship prototype for its first orbital flight, which is expected to occur within this year.
On Tuesday, Elon Musk said that he is highly confident of reaching the orbit many times before 2023, which would prove the safety of human transport. In October last year, Musk announced that the starship would be ready for its orbital flight by the next year.
To continue the prototype testing, the company will continue to fly multiple starship rockets from its Texas, US launchpad.