March 3, 2021
On February 28, workers installed the Flight Termination System, or FTS, on Starship SN10 in what has proven to be the key event of the test campaign that separates the pre-flight test phase from the pre-flight test phase. attempted theft.
The FTS consists of two white boxes that house small explosive devices outside the propellant tanks, which on command would detonate and trigger the vehicle to dislocate in the event of a deviation from the intended flight path. The installation point in the timeline of previous Starships SN8 and SN9 test campaigns both showed a consistent pattern of when the FTS is installed, compared to the current test flight.
For cryogenic resistance testing and static fires, the hooks where the bombs go may be empty. When these tests are completed, white boxes appear in these spaces. Careful observers of Starship’s tests now rightly take their setup as a clear indication that a flight is imminent, as is the case with SN10 now.
The FTS is intended to reduce but will not completely eliminate the risk of capricious debris in the event of a deviation. Obviously, small explosive devices will not completely vaporize the vehicle, and the winds on launch day will determine which direction the debris falls.
Interestingly, small secondary explosions were heard after the hard landings of SN8 and SN9; it is believed to be the FTS devices that explode in the heat of hell.
Hopefully SN10 will maintain the landing without the need for the use of this safety system, but it is an essential component that helps protect the inhabitants of the area from a potentially uncontrollable experimental rocket. Right now, SpaceX is targeting today, March 3, for its high altitude flight test for the vehicle.
Tagged: Boca Chica Lead Stories SN10 SpaceX Spaceship
Nicholas D’Alessandro was born and raised in Southwest Florida. The seeds of his interest in space exploration were planted when the sound boom of the shuttle back to school reverberated through his childhood home, even across the state; knowing that an actual spaceship was passing overhead and could have this effect was fascinating to him. A school trip to the Kennedy Space Center cemented this fascination, and with additional interest in cutting edge automotive technology and Teslas, it was the story of Elon Musk’s path to Cape Canaveral with SpaceX that ultimately led Nicholas to move to Space Coast and, after joining Spaceflight Insider in 2020, begins to document the burgeoning era of commercial spaceflight.