After SpaceX’s SN10 Starship touched down, it seemed like the prototype made it out of its test flight unscathed. The vehicle exploded on its landing pad around a minute later. Now, Elon Musk has revealed what went wrong in responses sent to followers on Twitter. The chief of SpaceX said the SN10 engine was low on thrust probably due to “partial helium ingestion from fuel header tank” and that the impact crushed the rocket’s legs and part of its skirt. SpaceX is now working on multiple fixes for the issue so that it doesn’t affect SN10’s successor, the SN11, anymore.
SpaceX’s Starship is a heavy-lift launch vehicle that’s being developed to carry cargo and human passengers to Earth’s orbit and beyond. SN10’s explosion won’t be slowing down the company’s testing efforts. Recently it rolled out the SN11 prototype to its Boca Chica facility to start preparing for its fourth high-altitude test launch.