SpaceX Conducts First High-Altitude Test Flight of Starship SN8 Prototype, Which Explodes Upon Landing Written 10 December 2020


Fully assembled Starship SN8, October 23, 2020 | Credit: Nomadd from; Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 4.0

Space News reports that on Wednesday, SpaceX conducted a test flight of its Starship SN8 prototype, which lifted off at 5:45 p.m. EST from Boca Chica, Texas, with the intention of achieving an altitude of 12.5 km. SpaceX “did not immediately provide information on the actual altitude that the vehicle reached.” One “of the three Raptor engines in the base of the vehicle shut down 1 minute and 40 seconds after liftoff, briefly igniting equipment in the engine bay. A second engine shut down 3 minutes and 15 seconds after liftoff.” The “last engine shut down 4 minutes and 40 seconds after liftoff, at which point the vehicle began to descend.” At “6 minutes and 32 seconds after liftoff, Starship reignited its engines and reoriented to the vertical to attempt a powered landing. However, the vehicle appeared to be going too fast and made a hard landing 10 seconds later, exploding.”
Full Story (Space News)