Fortunately, a vehicle assembly building was right on point to catch the SN9 rocket from crashing to the ground.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX went through an inconvenience on Friday morning with its latest starship almost falling off to the ground. The serial 9 (SN9) was set to launch from its Boca Chica testing facility when it accidentally began to incline towards one side, only to fall apart.
According to the reports, the stand holding up the craft collapsed due to a reason yet unknown. SpaceX got lucky this time around as a vehicle assembly building awaited the crash just at the right spot, which kept it from falling to the ground.
About three days before the crash, the SN8 prototype starship made its maiden high altitude flight. The spacecraft launched and reached an immense height of 41,000 feet. Upon its return to Earth, it flipped mid-air and crashed to ashes moments later.
However, Musk stated it as a victory, as it marked a step ahead in building the aircraft which will take humans to Mars soon. Alongside Tweeting the possible reason for the crash, Musk wrote that we got all the data we needed, congrats.
One of the reasons to mark it a success was the altitude the starship reached. Test flights conducted earlier had only taken this prototype at a maximum height of 492 feet. The earlier prototypes didn’t feature the nose cone, flaps, and other signature characteristics to make it venture to high altitudes in the thin air of upper space.
The mission was considered a success as SN8 reached its target altitude and collected sufficient data to pave the path for SN9 Starship. Unfortunately, that might have to wait a bit longer than before as we don’t know if the vehicle assembly building did enough of a job to save the SN9 starship and how much it is damaged.
Musk said that SpaceX had produced 10 starship prototypes with SN8 and SN9 built similarly. The reason for it was to rapidly build successive generations of prototypes to test and iterate quickly.