Starship, a prototype rocket developed by the leading aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX, has reportedly exploded on landing right after its successful test launch from the firm’s rocket facility located in Texas.
The Starship rocket ruined in the accident was a sixteen-storey tall model for the heavy-lift launch vehicle that is being developed by Elon Musk’s private space firm to effectively carry up to 100 tons of cargo and humans on future missions to Mars and Moon.
The test flight had been expected to reach an altitude of nearly 41,000 feet, driven by 3 of SpaceX’s recently developed Raptor engines for the very first time. However, the firm did not reveal what height the rocket had flown to.
Elon Musk stated that the low pressure in the rocket’s fuel header led to very high touchdown velocity.
Musk further added that SpaceX has collected all the relevant data that it needed and labelled the launch test phase of the rocket to be a success.
The entire Starship rocket, which would stand 394 feet tall, when integrated with its first-stage super-heavy booster, is the firm’s next-gen completely reusable launch vehicle and is the focal point of Musk’s goal of making human space travel to be more routine as well as affordable.
NASA granted SpaceX nearly $135 million to aid in the development of Starship, along with contending vehicles from competitors namely, Blue origin, the leading space company owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and Leidos-owned Dynetcis.
All the three firms are contending for future contracts for building the moon landers under the Artemis program of NASA, which focus on conducting a series of manned lunar exploration missions within the upcoming decade.
SpaceX, founded in Hawthorne, California, has been purchasing residential properties in the Boca Chica village in the south-eastern Texas, to create space for Elon Musk’s expanding Starship facilities, which he envisages as a future gateway to Mars.