Now the press can point out the test flight of a prototype of the SpaceX spacecraft as an explosive flaw. After a take-off with very poor visibility and camera errors during the entire flight, the SN11 rose to an altitude of 10 km, turned on its stomach as planned, descended from the sky, guided by its aerodynamic surfaces, and re-ignited the engines.When landing, it exploded the vehicle in the air. It all happened in a little over five minutes that Tuesday morning (30) in Boca Chica, Texas.
Failure will surely bring trouble with the FAA (US Aerospace Agency), which has been scrutinizing the company’s testing program after SpaceX conducted the SN8 flight in December last year. Disregard of the restrictions imposed by the agency. Now it should get more complicated and cause delays in the testing program.
The spaceship is the next generation vehicle that SpaceX intends to use to promote manned missions to the moon and, in the future, the colonization of Mars. The prototypes represent the second stage of the system. The complete rocket will be 120 meters long and the most powerful ever fired, comparable to the Saturn V that took people to the moon in the last century, but is completely reusable. To do this, it has to do something that no other missile has done, namely land the two stages smoothly and vertically after the flight.
Before this flight, three more were in the prototype test program with vehicles SN8, SN9 and SN10. The first two exploded at very high speed on landing and the third exploded minutes after a successful but still excessively rapid descent. The bet was that the SN11 would finally complete the cycle with a safe landing.
What happened was the opposite of that. And unlike a failed landing, which was totally to be expected and couldn’t be counted as a failure, we had an airborne explosion that revealed an unknown weakness in the design. It is different from modifying the engine activation schedule for a landing, which involves making fine adjustments. The point is to investigate the mistake in an arrested manner and, if necessary, return to the drawing boards.
To make matters worse, SpaceX decided to launch the SN11 in a thick fog that covered Boca Chica shortly after sunrise. There was no view during the flight, making it easier to identify a fault. It will be necessary to detect it by telemetry, which is abruptly cut off at 5 minutes and 46 hours of flight.
Elon Musk took to Twitter shortly after the accident and stated that there was a problem with the ascent with engine 2 that fitted the prototype, the tank of which did not reach the pressure required for good operation on landing, but which was not required, which leaves a mystery what would have caused the explosive failure. “As soon as the landing torch started, something important happened. We will know more as soon as we examine the pieces later today, ”he wrote.
That’s the way it is.
If the flight of the SN8 marked an important step in the journey to Mars, the SN11 warned of overconsciousness, which is routinely based on space programs that are achieving many successes. It’s time to take a step back and take two steps forward on your next try. Musk doesn’t expect a long break.
“The SN15 is going to the launch pad in a few days,” he replied to a follower on Twitter. “There are hundreds of design improvements in structures, avionics / software, and engines. Hopefully one of these improvements will cover this issue. If not, it will take a few more days to correct it. “
You need to see if the FAA is okay. Check.
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