SpaceX successfully launched its starship SN8 on Wednesday, Dec. 9, around 5:45 PM EST at their Texas base company Boca Chica.
While returning back for the landing Starship exploded on contact with the earth. The launch was streamed live on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.
UPDATE: SpaceX’s Starship fuel tank pressure was low, ‘SN9 up next! Mars, here we come!!!’ as on Dec. 9, 6:00 PM EST
Starship SN8 was successfully launched by SpaceX at around 5:45 PM EST. It performed an aerial flip in the upper atmosphere of Earth, but during the landing burn, it exploded while impacting with the earth.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX tweeted that “Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!“
Although, this test launch debut only had a one-in-three chance of total success. Still, SpaceX gathered all of the data needed for further programs.
In another tweet, Elon Musk confirmed the launch debut as a win by saying that “Mars, here we come!”
SpaceX successfully launches, explodes Starship SN8
The starship prototype vehicle was launched by SpaceX on Wednesday 9th Dec afternoon from the company’s South Texas Launch Site. The starship vehicle successfully reached the upper atmosphere, performed an aerial flip, and also maintained a vertical profile on the descent. But it was unable slowed down enough to avoid impacting the landing pad in an explosive.
It was the first time SpaceX flew Starship at such a high altitude with a maximum planned altitude of around 41,000 ft (12.5 km).
In the beginning test flights have only taken Starship prototype vehicles around 492 ft (150 m) high, but these vehicles did not have the nose cone, flaps, or other signature features that are required to control the vehicle’s flight in the thin air of the upper atmosphere. Starship has a wide-body and stands more than 164 ft (50 m) tall, So controlling it is a difficult task.
SpaceX’s long road to Starship launch debut, Tuesday’s 8th Dec auto-abort
The launch countdown of the starship was initially paused at T-minus 2 minutes, 6 seconds, and the world waited for a new estimation of launch time.
On Tuesday 8th Dec, Due to Raptor engines auto-aborted, SpaceX came within 1.3 seconds of launching the SN8 prototype and scheduled a new launch time on Wednesday 9th Dec.