There was a mixed emotion coming from many of those wathing Yesterday’s test of SpaceX’s shiny, bullet aimed at mars, style rocket called Starship. But not from the people in charge.
Firstly, the test had been scrubbed the day before with a last second abort of the launch. But it did get off the ground Today and things looked to be going quite well as it soared minutes up into the sky. Apparently they were aiming for 12.5 kilometres for this test, and it seemed to reach it before turning on it’s side and descending back toward the earth. Then, as expected the raptor engines kicked in to right it and begin deceleration for landing. But that’s when something looked wrong: (Skip to 1:47:41 for 10 seconds to launch, and 1:52:30 for engine cut off and decent.)
It seemed like there were a lot of corrections that had to be made to get it upright properly, which it managed mere seconds before impact.
At which point it promptly slammed into the ground and exploded. Not an ideal end to the test and yet it is being hailed a success by SpaceX, Elon Musk, and even some of their competitors.
The first challenge with any new rocket is getting it off the ground, and fortunately these are unmanned craft and this was just a test. Data gathering is part of the process and according to Musk they got what they were after.
Perhaps it is not expected for them to survive. It’s still hard to comprehend, though, how much money blew up on that landing pad.