Elon Musk reveals reason behind SpaceX rocket Starship SN10 explosion

March 11, 2021 | Updated 12:38 pm

Elon Musk reveals reason behind SpaceX rocket Starship SN10 explosion

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has finally revealed the reason why their Starship prototype SN 10 exploded shortly after landing in a test flight back on March 4. A video of this flight went viral on social media where the SN 10 can be seen suffering a minor explosion just moments after lift-off.

After the flight, the video shows flames coming out from the bottom of the Starship rocket Serial Number 10, or SN10, and it exploded minutes after landing.

The spaceship SN 10 had successfully completed its landing after two recent failed attempts, according to SpaceX.

Now, Elon himself on Tuesday (March 9) explained that the rocket had made the touched down at too high a speed.

Taking to Twitter, the SpaceX CEO said that the e partial helium ingestion from fuel header tank was low on thrust due to this.

“SN10 engine was low on thrust due (probably) to partial helium ingestion from fuel header tank,” Elon Musk said in a tweet.

“Impact of 10m/s crushed legs & part of skirt. Multiple fixes in work for SN11,” he added.


“If autogenous pressurization had been used, CH4 bubbles would most likely have reverted to liquid,” he said. “Helium in header was used to prevent ullage collapse from slosh, which happened in prior flight. My fault for approving. Sounded good at the time.”

The rocket prototype was launched on March 4 to an altitude of 10,000 kilometers and then landed back on the ground.

However, the rocket exploded about six minutes after landing. The test launch is deemed successful because the goal was to gather information on how the flaps work to control the rocket when it is horizontal as it is falling back to earth.

Right before of SN11 was placed on the launch mount ahead of its flight, SpaceX employees were seen checking the spacecraft’s legs.

“Multiple fixes in work for SN11,” Musk tweeted.