I’m old and I still cheer…not about SpaceX especially but in general. I think it is possible before I die (scheduled for 25 years hence) that we will find evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the Galaxy, and I think life in general will be revealed sooner.
Point 3. Not all of the rockets legs locked into place, causing the rocket to land harder than planned (and bounce!)
Point 1. The partial leg deployment caused the rocket to land cockeyed on the pad, making a nice void for fuel and oxidizer to accumulate.
Point 2. It looks like one engine was running rich and this could have been excess fuel burning off when the rocket was turned off.
Point 4. I’ve seen quite a few unplanned Estes explosions, but none the size of a grain silo.
I heard it said that Starship landed successfully, then did a celebratory flip in the air.
It was probably only ever going to fly once, so maybe they just blew it up for fun or to test some other feature.
But remember, the eventual goal of this program is to land on Mars. Can’t land airplane-style on Mars - the atmosphere is way too thin and there aren’t any prepared runways. (-:
Basically, retro-propulsive landing should work on any solar system body with a hard surface; wings need a substantial atmosphere.
Presumably something more like the LES on Apollo capsules?
Though I am sure there are SpaceX nerds who can tell us exactly what it is.
AFAIK Starship won’t have a launch escape mechanism (other than the second stage in its entirety); the crewed bit is too big for that. It’s worth noting that this one was a prototype made to specifically test that complicated landing maneuver; the legs were basically placeholders.
As for this thing not getting into orbit (mentioned by someone else)… it’s not intended to, this is the second stage. This uses a similar production method and the same engines though, so since it’s the more complex bit but uses fewer of the most expensive part (the engine) they’re building up the construction facilities for that thing first.
Well, you can’t do it the other way round, can you.
For generally excellent SpaceX nerdery, check out Tim Dodd’s Everyday Astronaut channel on YouTube.
Here, he tackles the question, “Why won’t Starship have an abort system? Should it?”
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