SpaceX’s Starship test flight: success, speculation, and scrutiny

"Starship Test Success"

SpaceX’s Starship program celebrates a successful booster landing from recent test flights, highlighting strides in reusable rocket technology. This event signifies a bold step towards wider space exploration and colonization, paving the way for affordable interplanetary travel and new exploratory missions.

However, rumors of a post-landing explosion of the fourth test flight’s booster started swirling on the internet. Various shared photographs appeared to substantiate the claims of an unexpected incident shortly after landing.

Testing protocols by SpaceX involve pushing their boosters to the limit. This method aids in identifying faults for rectification but has led to the so-called Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly – unplanned explosions – in the past three test flights triggering concerns in the industry.

An online photo, reportedly taken from a buoy, showed a possible explosion from the fourth Flight’s Super Heavy booster. This prompted experts to call for further examination before jumping to conclusions.

Starship test flight: success, scrutiny and speculation

Amid debates, SpaceX has yet to give an official statement regarding the speculation.

An online analyst, TheSpaceEngineer, presented a thorough breakdown of the said photo. The analysis opined that similarities in the color and pattern of the plume with past Starship explosions suggest it could potentially be a SpaceX explosion. The evidence cited included the hue of the flames, smoke quality, and blast pattern. An intriguing observation about refracted light, as seen from the image, strengthened this claim.

Additionally, TheSpaceEngineer speculated that a post-splashdown malfunction in the Super Heavy’s downcomer might have triggered the possible explosion. This stresses the crucial role of this component in maintaining the rocket’s fuel tanks pressure equilibrium.

Additional evidence supporting the explosion theory emerged from LabPadre’s data highlighting increased activity post-landing ignition. Many consider this information as further corroboration of the speculated post-landing explosion.