SpaceX Starship prototype explodes on landing (again)

Originally published at: SpaceX Starship prototype explodes on landing (again) | Boing Boing

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In other Musk news, SN8 was launched without a safety waver from the FAA. As a result the FAA will be investigating the source of the SN9 explosion.


What’s the saying, “Any landing you can walk away from…” Extra points for being a bad-ass and not looking back.

Not much to investigate it looks like:

SpaceX said Wednesday morning that during the launch the rocket’s three engines ignited, throttled off, and then two of the engines attempted to re-ignited for the landing, but only one successfully powered back on, causing the rocket burst into a fireball when it returned to the launch pad.

John Insprucker, who has been a regular feature on the SpaceX webcasts for probably a decade now, gets the best pull quote of that article:

“We demonstrated the ability to transition the engines to the landing propellant tanks, the subsonic reentry looked very good and stable,” Insprucker said. “We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit.”

This reminds me a lot of their work getting the Falcom 9 landing successfully. Lots of BOOM RUD’s for the first ten tries or so, and now landing is so routine for that rocket they’re up to something like 50 now and it’s “expected” that the rockets will land without a hitch.


I’m sure the FAA is going to be real sticklers about it anyway.

Important thing to focus on is BOTH flights have been great, flights going just about as expected with lots of data gathered…landings however, 3rd time will be the charm!

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“had a successful launch yesterday”

Maybe it’s just me, but if the ship explodes on landing I wouldn’t call that a “successful launch.” I mean, if you told me that the ship I was about to get on had 50 successful launches and only 25 successful landings, I’d probably skip the launch.

SpaceX: “We’ve designed a spaceship that can safely transport passengers and cargo 99.999% of the way to their destinations!”


“We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit.”

I think that’s the problem! They’ve only worked on the landing a little bit.

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Is that El Mariachi? I still need to see that movie.

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Indeed it is. It is a very silly movie, but I enjoyed it. Robert Rodriguez seems to have a real talent for quickly sketching in colourful and arresting characters. He makes his minor characters are often more engaging than the main star in many Hollywood Blockbusters.


The Shuttle and the Falcon9 booster are the only orbital rockets ever to have had a successful landing. Apollo, Soyuz, Ariane, et cetera aren’t called failures because they never landed.


This is Desperado, the sequel to El Mariachi.




I was wondering about Buran, but then realised that it probably doesn’t count as an ‘‘orbital rocket’’ because the orbiter had no engines.

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Only if you’re not Boeing.

Like the Shuttle Orbiter it had small engines to insert into orbit after jettisoning the Energia core.

Had it flown again, the four Energia side boosters would have been the first reusable rockets, returning to Earth under parachutes.


The launch was successful, just not the return. Up wasn’t the problem.

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Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you enjoy the show?

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