With SN11, because the camera view was lost for the final part of the journey, SpaceX engineers will have to rely on the analysis the people on the ground will perform on the remaining pieces to determine what happened and what can be improved on the next mission. As the second video at the bottom of the page shows, they will be having a hard time collecting them since debris rained from the sky. Reuters says debris was scattered 5 miles (5 km) around the launch pad.
As of the time of press, it’s uncertain what went wrong. On Twitter, Elon Musk jokes that at least SN11 got the crater “in the right place.” On a more serious note, he adds that “engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn,” and that “something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.”
Starship is expected to make its first orbital flight in 2023, and these prototypes serve to develop a reusable rocket that can land vertically. That would cut down costs considerably and lead to a higher frequency of launches. Eventually, Musk hopes the Starship rocket will carry men and cargo to Mars, which will be colonized.
Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.
SN15 rolls to launch pad in a few days. It has hundreds of design improvements across structures, avionics/software & engine.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
Hopefully, one of those improvements covers this problem. If not, then retrofit will add a few more days.