Slow-Motion Video of Starship SN10 Explosive Landing Is Pure Poetry

So, for the first time since this whole insane adventure began, SpaceX managed to perfectly land a prototype of the Starship. The thing came down perfectly, as we’ve seen Falcon rockets do time and time again, but then suddenly decided to explode.
Starship SN10 explosion 10 photos
Photo: Cosmic Perspective
Starship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosionStarship SN10 explosion
Explosions in rocket testing are part of the deal, so nothing spectacular there. The important thing is that the Starship, prototype SN10, managed to get back down to Earth in one piece, a much greater accomplishment than the previous SN8 and SN9, who both exploded without setting the rocket down upright.

The SN10 test took place at Boca Chica, Texas, where SpaceX is developing the Starship, and saw the rocket reach an altitude of 6,200 miles (10 km). Once there, the three Raptor engines began to shut down in stages.

Now, Starship landings are spectacular but somewhat scary as hell. After the engines shut down, the thing enters a free-fall on its side, hurtling horizontally (a position rockets are not used to) to the ground. It then starts to recover, using thrusters, and in theory, should land on its designated pad.

SN10 did all those things perfectly, but, as said, it then exploded. Needless to say, the moment was captured by a gazillion cameras, and it is still doing the rounds on the Internet. But here’s a version you might not have seen before: a slow-motion video of the moment.

The footage was captured using high-speed cameras by the people over at Cosmic Perspective. That's the same group that brought a slow-motion video of the Crew Dragon launch or the return of the booster that launched the mission into Port Canaveral, secured on the deck of the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship.

For the purposes of the SN10 shooting, one camera was placed facing the landing pad, and that allows us to see in detail every second of the approach. Because it was kept running after the landing, it also captured the moment of the explosion that rips it apart.

You can enjoy all the action in the video attached below. If you want to skip to the explosion part, that happens exactly two minutes in.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories