Photo credit: Official SpaceX Image
|Fate:||Destroyed by explosion after landing|
SN10 was completed in February 2021, and rolled out to Pad A for testing. SN10 was present with SN9, the first time two high altitude test articles were seen together assembled. After the failed landing of SN9, SN10 was not affected by debris and was able to continue its testing process.
Two static fires were performed on SN10, the first occurred on 23 February and as a result one of the raptor engines was swapped out. A second test was performed on the 25th which was deemed successful.
In preparation for flight the Flight Termination Sequence was installed on February 28.
On March 3 the first and only test flight took place. In the first attempt at 20:14 UTC the countdown proceeded smoothly until T-00.1 seconds remaining when an abort was called.
The second attempt was made at 23:14 UTC, and the launch, ascent, flip and the landing were all successful marking the first time a Starship prototype had completed the entire sequence.
After SpaceX’s broadcast of the event had ended, SN10 was suddenly destroyed by an explosion while sitting on the landing pad which was captured on several live streams including Everyday Astronaut, NASASpaceflight.com and LabPadre.
Elon Musk indicated that the thrust during landing was low despite it being commanded to be high for reasons unknown leading to the hard touch down, and that they’d never seen it before. Changes would be made for the next landing to have a minimum of two engines all the way to the ground and restart a third engine if either of the initial two had issues.
Later Musk stated that he believed the cause of the low thrust was the engine ingesting helium from the fuel header tank, leading to an impact of 10m/s and that SN11 would have multiple fixes to try and correct these issues.
All dates & times are local unless otherwise indicated.