Why the explosion of his Starship remains a great success for SpaceX

DECRYPTION – The test flight of the prototype SN-8 of the American company ended in a spectacular crash during the landing attempt. But the essential is elsewhere.

Scraps of blackened sheet metal scattered on the ground are the only visible remains of the SN-8 prototype of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft. Based in Boca Chica, Texas, the high altitude test flight ended after 6 minutes and 42 seconds in a massive explosion on Wednesday. In question, a too rapid arrival on the concrete slab which serves as a landing zone.

Despite this explosive final, the SpaceX teams, their boss Elon Musk first, are enthusiastic and celebrated … a successful trial! “March, we’re coming !!” even tweeted the billionaire founder of SpaceX and Tesla, recalling that the future Starship was imagined to take astronauts to the Moon and the Red Planet.

Is it poison to try to pass this failure for a success? Not at all. Because before the explosion, the prototype had brilliantly succeeded in the main objectives of the test: to get horizontal at a height of 12.5 km, then to descend into a gliding flight and straighten up.

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