Friday, June 2, 2023

Elon Musk reveals why the SN10 ship blew up

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For a short while after SpaceX’s SN10 Starship landed, it looked like the prototype had emerged from its test flight unscathed. The vehicle exploded on its airstrip about a minute later, however, creating a huge blaze like its predecessors did. Now Elon Musk has revealed what went wrong in the responses sent to followers on Twitter. The SpaceX chief said the SN10 engine had low thrust likely due to “partial helium ingestion of [the] fuel tank “and the impact crushed the rocket’s legs and part of its skirt. SpaceX is now working on several fixes for the problem so that it no longer affects SN10’s successor, the SN11, anymore.

Chris Bergin from NASA space flight tweeted that the problem is “tricky”, given that the helium ingestion was caused by the pressurization system added to the CH4 tank to avoid which caused SN8 spaceship explosion. Musk said it was a “good point,” and he approved of the change because it sounded good at the time.

SpaceX’s spacecraft is a heavy-lift launch vehicle that is being developed to transport human cargo and passengers to Earth orbit and beyond. The SN10 explosion will not slow down the company’s testing efforts – in fact, it recently deployed the SN11 prototype at its Boca Chica facility to begin preparations for its fourth high altitude test launch.


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