April 7 (UPI) — Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, a Us space exploration technology company, has taken to Twitter to explain why the third-generation starship prototype, the SN3, failed in the latest tests, while releasing photos of the engineused by the next generation prototype,media reported.
Pictured: Musk releases photos of the Raptor engine used in the next generation of Starship prototypes
On April 3, SpaceX launched SN3’s first cryogenic pressure test, loading more than 400 tons of liquid nitrogen into a 30-meter-high spacecraft propellant tank. A few hours later, the tank suddenly collapsed and collapsed, almost disintegrating under gravity. Musk explained that poor test design and operator errors may have been the main cause of the failure, not the rocket itself.
Musk revealed that the test failed because the pressure of the lower tank was not enough to withstand the pressure of a methane tank filled with liquid nitrogen. Thankfully, while SpaceX lost millions of dollars in prototypes in testing, cryogenic testing is sure to succeed on the SN4 as long as it doesn’t make the mistakes.
In his latest tweet, Musk also released the latest photo showing three running Raptor engines for the first time. If the SN3 passes last week’s cryogenic test, SpaceX’s plan is to install one or three Raptor engines and start a static ignition test. If successful, the company will conduct the first full-scale starship high-altitude flight test.
Now, while Musk claims SpaceX may still “reuse most of the thrust components of the SN3,” its future test plans for the starship will now rely on SN4. SN4 is likely to reuse almost all of the SN3 structures, but even that will take weeks to assemble.
For now, it looks like we’ll have to wait at least a few more weeks to see another cryogenic test of the new Starship prototype, and possibly the first static ignition experiment with one or more Raptor engines. (Small)