Ignition and liftoff of Starship test articles are normally clearly visible from this LabPadre live feed, but for the Starship SN11 flight, the dense morning fog presented only an eerie glow. Credit: Louis Balderas Jr. / @LabPadre
The latest SpaceX Starship prototype, Starship SN11, met a fiery demise last week, like the three iterations before it. However, hopes were high it would’ve been the one to survive a landing attempt long enough for eventual reuse after SN10 very nearly did so, if not for a slightly hard landing.
Starship SN11’s flight ended up making what seemed like backward progress as it was the first one of the entire program to explode mid-air, immediately after beginning to relight its three Raptor engines for the landing-flip procedure.
A view of Starship SN11 the day before its March 30 test flight. Credit: Nicholas D’Alessandro / Spaceflight Insider
Adding a layer of mystery to the situation was the thick zero-visibility fog in the Boca Chica, Texas, area that made any visual assessment of the launch and failed landing impossible.
After the onboard cameras on SpaceX’s livestream suddenly froze, the only ground-based cameras in the area to capture the subsequent events were cameras positioned at ...