Previous test flights ended with a blast before, during, or shortly after landing at the southeastern tip of Texas near Brownsville. This time, however, an improved version of the ammunition missile from SpaceX’s development and testing facility in Boca Chica flew more than 10 kilometers over the Gulf of Mexico, then turned around and landed first in a horizontal position and just before landing. .
“The spacecraft has landed!” Declared the test flight commentator.
However, the test was not without its problems. After landing, the missile began to burn, but soon a small fire was extinguished and the missile marked SN15 remained stationary after a six-minute flight. According to Musk, the landing was “scheduled”.
Spacecraft nominal landing!
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 5, 2021
CNBC said the prototype of the 15th missile was the first to be destroyed after it reached high altitude. The flight itself was identical to the SN8, SN9, SN 10 and SN11 prototypes. They all started successfully, but the comeback was not a success. The first two were destroyed on hitting the ground, the SN10 detonated after landing and the SN11 failed just before landing.
SpaceX said the SN15 had “improved architecture, avionics and software” over previous prototypes. The Raptor engine control has also been modified. The SN15 and two other prototypes were approved last week by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after the company made changes to the program after the SN11 crashed.
Prototypes of the Starship artillery charge missile are 45 meters high and are powered by three Raptor engines.
Spacecraft missiles must carry their payload to the moon in the future and even take a trip to Mars.
In mid-April, NASA decided to allocate $ 2.9 billion to SpaceX to develop the Starship rocket to take American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis mission. However, the company has yet to receive the funds due to objections from competitors Blue Origin and Dynetics, which are being investigated by the General Budget Oversight Office (GAO), and work on terminating the contract with SpaceX has been halted on April 30 prior to that. Objections are investigated.