The launch of a prototype by the Space X company, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, it starts to look like groundhog day. Up to four times he has tried it and the result has been the same: an explosion with which the landing of the ship has been impossible.
Last week was the last of these releases. The prototype Starship SN11 was released in a condition tricky due to heavy fog that made it difficult to see its tragic end. An explosion of which there was no answer as to why it had happened. Until now. Elon Musk himself, CEO and founder of the company (in addition to Tesla’s Technoking, his new position), who has given details of the event.
Ascent phase, transition to horizontal & control during free fall were good.
A (relatively) small CH4 leak led to fire on engine 2 & fried part of avionics, causing hard start attempting landing burn in CH4 turbopump.
This is getting fixed 6 ways to Sunday.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2021
Asked by a user about the status of the SN11 investigation, the American physicist and businessman had no qualms about commenting on what the problem was. “A (relatively) small CH4 (methane) leak caused engine 2 fire and burned some of the avionics, causing a difficult start to the landing attempt on the CH4 turbopump“.
The SN11 and its predecessors
The SN11 spacecraft was launched last March 30 from the Starship Company Development Center in Texas. However, severe weather difficulties caused poor visibility. After successfully taking off and ascending 10 kilometers began its return to Earth. But after performing the turn maneuver, the cameras on board the ship froze during the transmission (as seen in the attached video). Moments later, ground level cameras captured a orange glow before ship debris started raining over the area where it had to land.
Prototypes SN8 and SN9 exploded as soon as they came into contact with the ground after a rough landing. The SN10 did make landfall successfully, although moments later he was blown up. Therefore, this SN11 is the first of them that explodes before returning to land.