On 30th March, Wednesday the SpaceX’s latest high altitude test flight took place in foggy weather at the test site near Boca Chica, Texas. The data from the live video feed suggested that until the landing of the 50-meter tall Starship Prototype, Version SN11 landed according to the plan. But in the last, this too ended in a fireball, just like the three previous efforts.
About this accident, the SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted that failure of this test flight stemmed from a fuel leak. “A (relatively) small CH4 leak led to fire on engine 2 & fried part of avionics, causing hard start attempting landing burn in CH4 turbopump,” Musk said.
CH4 refers to the methane propellant used by Starship’s Raptor engine and “hard start” indicates that there was excessive combustible propellant in the combustion chamber prior to ignition, leading to a dangerous spike in pressure that ultimately caused the rocket to fail.
The California-based company will launch the Starship rocket as the second-stage booster and also as a spacecraft after SpaceX finally makes it to perfection. The final goal of SpaceX is to place Starship as a reusable system to carry as many as 100 people and cargo to Earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and beyond.