Elon Musk’s Starship Vehicle ‘SN8’ Prototype Crashes At Touchdown

American businessman Elon Musk unveiled the latest version of his Starship flight from Texas.

Codenamed SN8, an unoccupied rocket from the Boca Chica R&D center on what was charged as a short flight to 12.5km (41,000ft).

Crashed On Landing But Musk Is Happy

A 50m tall starship crashed when it was touched but Mr Musk was happy with how far the test exit had reached.

Before the plane, the millionaire businessman had lowered his expectations, warning his fans that something bad was about to happen.

Crash landing

However, Musk has high hopes for the Starship when it has fully grown. He says it is the future of his company SpaceX.

What Elon Said?

The Starship will launch people and goods on a rotating route, and the businessman is also considering a car traveling to the Moon and Mars.

The chief executive of SpaceX praised his team, adding that the exhibition received “all the information we needed”.

“Mars, here’s we come!!” write on Twitter.

Boca Chica Center

The Boca Chica Center has developed a line of very complex trials. Philosophy has been testing each iteration until it fails. Sometimes with an explosion.

SN8 was the first to try a high suborbital plane.

The program was to experiment with specific techniques that mimic the abdomen’s orientation into the earth’s atmosphere, ending with a vertical rotation before touching.


Much of this has been achieved: a clean introduction of the pad, a steady ascent to the top, followed by a horizontal descent. But it was then that the Starship tried to get back to the right where things started to go awry.

The car came to its descent at high speed, and exploded quickly.

“The pressure on the fuel tank was low when the plane caught fire, which led to the touchdown velocity being high with the RUD,” Mr Musk explained on Twitter.

“RUD” stands for “unplanned quick disassembly”. Crash, in other words.

Mr Musk will proceed immediately. He still has other options at Boca Chica ready to replace SN8.

The SN8 Starship

In hindsight, the SN8 looks very different from its previous test articles.

The new car is powered by three of the latest SpaceX engines that heat the Raptor, nose cone and aerodynamic control – which are large spaces at the top and bottom.


Starship will eventually launch on a booster called Super Heavy.

This would include perhaps 28 Raptors, producing more than 70 meganewtons (16 million lbs) of thrust. This is much more than the powerful rocket Apollo Saturn 5, which sent men to the Moon.

Both parts of the new SpaceX system – Startship and Super Heavy booster – will stand 118m long at the launch pad.

These two elements are designed to be fully utilized, enabling the earth to arrive at the end of each task.

In June this year, Mr Musk said the Starship was now more important to him, in addition to Falcon rockets currently flying to satellite companies, the US Air Force and the US space agency (Nasa).

He believes the concept of Starship could transform the economics of space travel.

Mars concept

The specifications call for more than 100-tonnes to be lifted into low-Earth orbit.

This mass could include satellites, people and even hardware to build bases on the Moon and Mars.

Nasa has already asked Mr Musk to look into the possibility of installing a Starship on the face of the moon in the next few years.

The businessman is thinking of a higher purpose and a faster timeline, though. When he received the award last week for digital publishing company Axel Springer SE, he said he aimed to have people on Mars in the next four to six years.

The SpaceX manager is known for his aggressive and highly hopeful schedules. However, he has a tendency to show critics that they are wrong by finally achieving his goals.


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