Immediately after an excruciating weeklong wait around at the launch pad in Boca Chica, SpaceX’s SN9 rocket, the ninth prototype of Starship, eventually lifted off for its 10km large-altitude exam flight Tuesday afternoon.
The 165-foot-tall (50 meters) stainless steel booster jumped 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) into the South Texas skies and hovered at that altitude for about a moment prior to slowing descending. Regretably, SN9 recurring the destiny of its precedent SN8 and exploded on impact through the remaining seconds of a hard landing.
The SN9 check was at first scheduled for January. But SpaceX experienced a challenging time getting the flight authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration because of to an unusually prolonged critique course of action and a parallel investigation into the company’s feasible violation of flight phrases during its previous Starship exam with SN8 in December.
SN8 was the initially Starship prototype SpaceX applied for a large-altitude flight. The exam went effortlessly all through liftoff and ascend and properly achieved an altitude of about 7.8 miles (12.5 km) right before it descended too rapidly and exploded upon landing.
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) February 2, 2021