'RIP SN11': SpaceX's Starship rocket EXPLODES on the launch pad following its first flight test 


SpaceX’s Starship rocket takes off in extremely thick fog and then seconds later CRASHES back down on the launch pad in spectacular explosion

  • SpaceX lost its fourth Starship rocket Tuesday, following its first test flight that took off in Boca Chica, Texas
  • SN11 took off around 9:15am ET in a thick blanket of fog that covered the site with a goal of hitting six miles 
  • A commenter announced ‘Starship 11 is not coming back, don’t wait for the landing’ and said all data was lost
  • Cameras around the site captured a loud boom shortly after and large pieces of debris falling from the sky 
  • Elon Musk said there was an issue with one of the Raptor engines, but it should not have impacted teh flight 

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SpaceX has lost its fourth Starship prototype following the launch of Serial Number 11 (SN11) that saw the rocket take off, disappear into a thick blanked of fog and crash down on the launch pad.

SN11 launched from the firm’s testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas around 9:15am ET, but 2.5 minutes into its first high altitude test the livestream froze and a SpaceX engineer John Insprucker, who hosted the livestream, said: ‘Starship 11 is not coming back, don’t wait for the landing.’

‘We do appear to have lost all the data from the vehicle.’

At the time of the announcement, SN11 was still soaring through the sky, but came crashing down moments later.

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CEO Elon Musk released a statement on Twitter shortly after the incident saying ‘engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed. 

‘Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.’

NASASpaceFlight captured the event from cameras sitting near the launch pad, which saw Starship SN11 ‘come down hard’ and debris ‘came flying past the camera near the pad.’ 

Sources at the site say the rocket appeared to have been rotating on its axis more than previous flights, suggesting SN11 may have struggled during the belly flop maneuver. 

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CEO Elon Musk released a statement on Twitter shortly after the incident saying 'engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn¿t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn¿t needed

CEO Elon Musk released a statement on Twitter shortly after the incident saying ‘engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed

SpaceX was set to launch SN11 Friday, but scrubbed the mission late in the afternoon due to dense fog covering the Boca Chica area.

However, the firm pushed ahead Tuesday even though weather appeared to be exactly the same.

Fog covered the massive rocket as it stood tall on the launch pad, only revealing itself when it ignited its three Raptor engines that sent streams of fire flowing out from the base.

SN11 took off, soaring above the testing facility as it attempted to reach a goal of six miles into the sky.

However, the rocket appeared to explode before reaching the launch pad and sent debris flying around the area. One bystander found a piece of the charred rocket about five miles outside the Boca Chica facility

However, the rocket appeared to explode before reaching the launch pad and sent debris flying around the area. One bystander found a piece of the charred rocket about five miles outside the Boca Chica facility

Fog covered the massive rocket as it stood tall on the launch pad, only revealing itself when it ignited its three Raptor engines that sent streams of fire flowing out from the base

Fog covered the massive rocket as it stood tall on the launch pad, only revealing itself when it ignited its three Raptor engines that sent streams of fire flowing out from the base

However, 2.5 minutes into its flight, SpaceX’s livestream froze – leaving the ground team and world in the dark.

Moments later, a loud boom was heard, the sky lit up around the launch pad and debris started falling from the sky. 

One bystander found a piece of the charred rocket about five miles outside the Boca Chica facility.

‘Found this… tank insulation? #SN11 It came from the sky, is warm, and smells like fuel of some sort,’ reads a post shared to Twitter with a photo of them holding part of the fallen rocket. 

Prior to the death of SN11, Insprucker said the rocket had a normal and the on-board cameras were operating up to code before they lost signal that left everyone in the dark to what was happening miles above the surface.

He also told viewers not to wait for the landing, as SpaceX was not able to recover footage of the mission’s final phase.

However, independent cameras were able to capture the massive prototype make a crash landing.



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