Now we know why SpaceX’s latest product Interstellar ship The prototype shined last week.
The stainless steel vehicle named SN11 (“Serial Number 11”) is in Test flight last Tuesday (March 30) From SpaceX’s facility in southern Texas, near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica.
The SN11 soared to a maximum height of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) as planned, and the 165-foot-tall (50-meter) spacecraft also checked some boxes during its descent.But SN11 did not stick to it, but exploded in a huge fireball-due to pipe problems, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk Announced today (April 5).
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“In the ascent phase, the transition from free fall to level and the control effect in free fall are very good. The (relatively) small CH4 leak will cause the No. 2 engine to catch fire and blow up the avionics, resulting in an attempt to start the CH4 turbo pump to land and burn. It’s difficult to start. This has been solved by 6 methods until Sunday,” Musk said via Twitter today.
CH4 is methane, the propellant for SpaceX’s powerful next-generation Raptor engine. “Hard start” refers to the fact that there is too much fuel in the combustion chamber, so ignition occurs when the pressure is too high—not a good thing for any engine.
Space X Interstellar spacecraft are being developed to transport people and cargo to the moon, Mars and other distant destinations. The transportation system consists of two elements, both of which can be fully reused: the interstellar spacecraft and the giant super booster Super Heavy.
Musk said that both the “starship” and the “super heavy” will be powered by the Raptor-the final starship has 6 and the huge booster has 30. SN11 and its three predecessors, SN8, SN9, and SN10, each have three birds of prey, and conducted 6-mile-high test flights in December, February, and early March, respectively.
The four flights were roughly similar, and the prototype performed well until the end. In fact, SN10 can even land in one piece, Exploded after about eight minutes.
SpaceX will continue to try to land correctly. The company has already built the next starship prototype called SN15, and it should appear soon. (Yes, SpaceX switched directly from SN11 to SN15.)
Mike Wall (Mike Wall) is “outside“(Grand Central Press, 2018; Karl Tate illustration), this is a book on the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .