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SpaceX SN10 Prototype Explodes After Touchdown

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Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
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Jan 31, 2012
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SpaceX’s SN10 Starship prototype exploded Wednesday after a successful flight and touchdown.



The prototype soared more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) into the air, turned horizontal to control descent, then flipped back vertical for the landing. Minutes later the rocket exploded.



SpaceX has not said what caused the explosion.



Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted, “Starship 10 landed in one piece! RIP SN10, honorable discharge.”



He added: “SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace.”



SpaceX’s two previous prototypes, SN9 and SN8, experienced failures just before landing.



The Starship is intended to be SpaceX’s vehicle to Mars.



Watch the broadcast above.

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Three Raptors installed and cryo test happened yesterday.
 
One of the things that struck me with the SN8 groundpad-camera perspective was the two engines gimbled in wildly opposite directions when trying to cancel out the rotation... certainly seems lack of the second engine to do that is why SN9 over-rotated:

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The software probably wasn't programmed to take into account the possibility of only one engine working, since if that was the case, the rocket is lost anyways, so what's the point. That would mean you'd see all sorts of weirdness since the software was trying to control the rocket based on an an incorrect understanding of what was really going on.
 
The software probably wasn't programmed to take into account the possibility of only one engine working, since if that was the case, the rocket is lost anyways, so what's the point. That would mean you'd see all sorts of weirdness since the software was trying to control the rocket based on an an incorrect understanding of what was really going on.
I would assume that they would have real time feedback of the thrust of each engine, based on strain gauges on the engine support structure. If that's the case, the computer knew there wasn't sufficient thrust and it was beyond the control parameters.
 
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Static Fire happened this morning. 55 minutes into this webcast. There was an issue with one of the Raptors and Elon tweeted that they will be replacing that one.

New Raptor has already been seen heading out to the pad to get switched out.
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