ENTERTAINMENT

SpaceX's newest Starship prototype COLLAPSES on the launch pad


SpaceX is wasting no time preparing the next Starship prototype for its first test flight, but the mission is already off to a difficult start.

The Starship serial number 9 (SN9) reached the launch pad of the Boca Chia test facility, towered over the grounds, but began to lean and eventually collapse.

The stall that was holding the vehicle reportedly gave way, but the vehicle assembly building was in place and caught the massive missile from hitting the ground.

The mishap comes just days after SpaceX's SN8 prototype completed its first soaring 41,000 feet, which ended in an explosion as soon as it returned to the ground.

SpaceX is wasting no time preparing the next Starship prototype for its first test flight, but the mission is already off to a difficult start. The SN9 prototype was seen tipped on the launch pad

Although SN8 has been destroyed, CEO Elon Musk considers it a success as it has reached its target height and has gathered a wealth of data along the way to pave the way for SN9 to make its own leap.

The new prototype is the second with wing tips and nose cones and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors.

SpaceX announced that it would put SN9 on the launch pad soon after SN8's flight. It could start sometime next week, according to road closures in Boca Chica.

However, it's not clear whether the latest prototype was damaged when it fell over Friday.

The Starship serial number 9 (SN9) reached the launch pad of the Boca Chia test facility, towered over the grounds, but began to lean and eventually collapse

The Starship serial number 9 (SN9) reached the launch pad of the Boca Chia test facility, towered over the grounds, but began to lean and eventually collapse

The mishap comes just three days after SpaceX's SN8 prototype completed its first soaring 41,000 feet, which ended in an explosion once it returned to the ground

The mishap comes just three days after SpaceX's SN8 prototype completed its first soaring 41,000 feet, which ended in an explosion once it returned to the ground

Also, as production and fidelity increase, SpaceX has built 10 Starship prototypes. S.

"N9 is almost ready to move to the pad, which now has two active booths for quick development testing," the company said after the launch of SN8.

According to Musk, SN9 was developed in parallel with SN8 and follows the theme of “building successive generations of prototypes” so that they can be quickly tested and iterated.

"The flight test of SN8 is an exciting next step in the development of a fully reusable transportation system that can carry both crew and cargo to orbit, the moon, Mars and beyond," wrote SpaceX.

The world watched as the 160-foot SN8 took off from the launch pad for its six-minute, 40-second flight.

The true-to-scale stainless steel model is 50 meters high and 9 meters in diameter.

The new prototype is the second with wing tips and nose cones and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors

The new prototype is the second with wing tips and nose cones and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors

Pictured is a view over the SpaceX launch pad in Texas before the latest prototype suffered a fall on Friday morning. The hay bay (picture) hit the missile when the stand collapsed

Pictured is a view over the SpaceX launch pad in Texas before the latest prototype suffered a fall on Friday morning. The hay bay (picture) hit the missile when the stand collapsed

SpaceX announced that it would put SN9 on the launch pad soon after SN8's flight. It could start sometime next week, according to road closures in Boca Chica. However, it's not clear whether the latest prototype was damaged when it fell over Friday

SpaceX announced that it would put SN9 on the launch pad soon after SN8's flight. It could start sometime next week, according to road closures in Boca Chica. However, it's not clear whether the latest prototype was damaged when it fell over Friday

It flew over the Gulf of Mexico and after about five minutes turned sideways as planned and sank in free fall back to the southeastern tip of Texas near the Mexican border.

The side flip, referred to by Musk as the "belly flop" maneuver, was designed to mimic the technique Starship will use when returning from space through Earth's atmosphere. If the "belly" is presented on entry into the atmosphere, the rate of descent will decrease as it approaches the ground.

This "hop" is a historic event for SpaceX, as previous prototypes only landed 500 feet in the air.

But it also turned out to be the most destructive.

When it touched down, the vehicle went up in flames and broke, parts scattered.

Musk quickly took to Twitter after the explosion to announce the success and thank his team.

"Successful ascent, conversion to collection tanks and precise flap control to the landing point!"

& # 39; The pressure in the fuel tank was low during landing which resulted in a high touchdown speed and RUD, but we have all the data we needed! Congratulations SpaceX Team Hell yeah !! & # 39;

The CEO later thanked South Texas for the support in a separate tweet, followed by another saying, "Mars, here we come !!"

Though SN8 was destroyed, CEO Elon Musk considered it a success as it reached its target height and gathered a ton of data along the way to pave the way for SN9 to make its own leap

Though SN8 was destroyed, CEO Elon Musk considered it a success as it reached its target height and gathered a ton of data along the way to pave the way for SN9 to make its own leap

The Starship two-stage heavy-duty vehicle has been in development since 2012 and is designed to cut startup costs by making it more reusable.

While many view the SN8 as a bug, this isn't the first prototype SpaceX exploded for trial purposes – or even accidentally.

The company lost a total of four prototypes on its journey, all of which went up in flames at the test site in Texas.

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