What Happened In The Fog At Boca Chica - What Caused SpaceX's Latest Prototype To Explode?

Vitenskap og teknologi

I admit, I'm stumped as to what might have gone wrong, because it looked the tank exploded at altitude rather than simply suffering a pressure failure in the tank. In previous RUD's the Starship tanks haven't shattered into small pieces except until after they hit the ground so whatever caused this was more violent than a simple pressure failure and might be an explosion inside the tank. I hope we find out more.
Post Flight Debris photographed by RGV Aerial
Footage of SN1 & SN11 By NasaSpaceFlight and BocaChicaGal
Footage of SN10 RUD by Trevor Mahlmann
SN11 RUD animation by Nick Henning


  • acecodemaster
    acecodemaster3 dager siden

    Looks like the secret sauce worked

  • SPadre
    SPadre21 dag siden

    Scott- "very odd dispersion pattern, not sure what triggered it.." Wind- lol

  • Cynthia Clavey
    Cynthia Clavey22 dager siden

    Anything new about the photos that one person got of the flip above the fog?

  • Lindsay Mason
    Lindsay Mason23 dager siden

    Perhaps you can clear this up for me, When Starship is preparing for a launch is it correct that they chill the Raptors prior to ignition which is all good and popper but when they relight them for the landing burn do the turbo pumps suffer thermal shock between the hot engine and the Cryogenic fuel maybe causing damage and be the reason for the landing failures

  • Emil Cathalin
    Emil Cathalin23 dager siden

    Hello Scott, Beyond the questions of how does one land Starship, what do you think will Space X do about the cryogenic LOX Starship tank and its effect on the adhesion of the heatshield tiles that will cover the exterior of the craft? Right now, from a TPS standpoint, the Starship looks a lot like an early generation Atlas booster (with curved uneven surfaces that are not large and flat like the Shuttle orbiter underside) that will have to be clothed in adhesive heatshield tiles like in the good old Reagan days. Will the LOX tank inside the Starhip pe covered in spray on foam before being installed inside the Starship? You do remember the difficulties that precluded the combination of the Centaur cryogenic stage and the Space Shuttle Orbiter.

  • Michael Johnston
    Michael Johnston24 dager siden


  • VDE18
    VDE1825 dager siden

    *Secret Boom*

  • Ben I
    Ben I26 dager siden

    Wondering if there is a complication when you have a tank failure in the belly flop with the extra dynamics of falling sideways at more than a few mps. I can see an inflight breakup being more dramatic than seen on SN10 because of the airspeed, once the tanks lose rigidity the stainless is going to rip apart under load fairly quickly.

  • jonathan hart
    jonathan hart27 dager siden

    It blew up because you were asleep, and thus never got to say “fly safe.”

  • fidschi meuer
    fidschi meuer27 dager siden

    well, why you should know what happened? if you work for their company, then you would know ... they can decide freely what they do share to the public and what they don't. Sure, I'd like to know fore SURE what has happened, like literally millions of folks, too.. ^^ xD ps: X has even some repositories on GitHub (reads: open-source). didn't know for years... ^^ I think the mega big public interest is both, a cure, but also a curse .... if nobody looks or hears (measurements), there literally (I love this w0rd!) anything can and will (have) happen(ed).... Think along with Schrödinger's, not about it 🐈❣️ -- IF you (yes, you reading this and the others() DO_MEASURE_THE_CAT THEN you MAY HAVE killed the cat in the final quantum-collaps to a finite, known state.... DEAD.... you also MAY BE lucky and the l8l kitty is still alive .... but then feed her (it's not an "it" and it's on/non-random) and be nice to anybody else, too..

  • Julian Danzer
    Julian Danzer28 dager siden

    it mgiht be plausible that am echanical hitpressure build up into the tank the nspreads through the fuel as prssure nad causes the tank to pop like in an explosion, then the fuels start mixing not usre how far exactly that would split it up though

  • CybershamanX
    CybershamanXMåned siden

    What kind of HOTAS setup are you running there, Scott? ;) EDIT: I have a Thrustmaster Warthog and it is, indeed, a hog. I love it to death and the switches are so solid and the controls feel so nice in my hands, but it is a bear to set up and configure. Anyway, I was just curious. I'm not up on my higher end joysticks because I haven't flown anything in a sim/game for a while. SIt's just nice to keep up on joystick tech. ;) Too bad you won't see this comment or have the time to read it if you do. Anyway, I love your content. Take care! :) EDIT2: Just in case anyone else stumbles upon this comment in the future... I did some searching and I'm _pretty_ sure that what Scott is using is a Logitech X52 Professional H.O.T.A.S. (joystick and throttle) setup. One can be had for a cool 257 U.S. Freedom Bucks. I was lucky to find my Warthog on sale for $313 a few years ago, but it looks like they've raised the price quite a big. Whew.

  • digitbiatch
    digitbiatchMåned siden

    Elon says he doesn't like a lot of parts. Elon says he has robotaxis, level 5 autonomy, functioning brain chips that can cure diseases, semi trucks, and is going to colonize Mars. All these things are true only in a way a loving mother could see them. Oh, sweetie, you're doing so great! If your predictive model relies primarily on something things Elon says it's not one that has served you well so far.

  • digitbiatch
    digitbiatchMåned siden

    I suppose if you wanted people to see your rocket you wouldn't want to launch it in a thick fog bank. Also if you wanted to gather visual data yourself. I like Elon's style of engineering without all the fuss of predictive modeling and data. I will be on the edge of my seat when the first people get on that thing after they finally get it right. They did get it right this time, right guys?..

  • Eric Bourque
    Eric BourqueMåned siden

    Jeff Bezos must have fired a missile at it. Rapid Scheduled Disasembly.

  • Brave.Bex004
    Brave.Bex004Måned siden

    Now that you mentioned it, what if the explosion was cause by an under cover jet fighter covered in the fog and the bright orange glow in the fog is the misiLe launch and hit the sn11 timed with the engine start up for landing?

  • Christopher Grove
    Christopher GroveMåned siden

    I wonder if the design keeps blowing up because it is still, GENERALLY speaking, a classic rocket design and the forces involved with "flipping" the thing... the sloshing around of fuel... welp, not all of those forces have been managed.??

  • Christopher Grove

    Christopher Grove

    Måned siden

    @thebeaz1 well... With all due respect, THIS IS the testing.

  • thebeaz1


    Måned siden

    Those forces have already been factored into the design and thoroughly tested. As such they are not a factor.

  • Damian Wojtowicz
    Damian WojtowiczMåned siden

    Hey Scott! When you do your next video about Boca Chica, would you be able to talk a bit about the thrust ram and what exactly it’s testing? Thanks!

  • Cliff Hartle
    Cliff HartleMåned siden

    Oddly I experienced this and didn't even know it. I was in San Antonio last week and thought I heard thunder. 😧 Sorry I can't add anything more than "it blowed up, blowed up real good" 100 internet points if you get the reference. 🤣

  • Diana Gable
    Diana GableMåned siden

    The fog showed us the toxic fumes.

  • Jeremy Henderson
    Jeremy HendersonMåned siden

    Elon is good at crashing model rockets.

  • Michael Domansky
    Michael DomanskyMåned siden

    We all know it was shot down by the Chinese!

  • John Hylton
    John HyltonMåned siden

    Easy question....You are NOT.

  • Loanword Eggcorn
    Loanword EggcornMåned siden

    "What triggered it" is the flight termination system blowing up the main tank due to the flight going beyond acceptable parameters due to an engine not working right.

  • name not shown
    name not shownMåned siden

    i got a theory, gases blown back into engine bay seen on vid, one engine not light, gases in engine bay go booooom`, normally gases outside engine bay at startup

  • Erik the Okapi
    Erik the OkapiMåned siden

    I actually disliked the Test Flight on SpaceX's YT channel; Why did they have to fly in thick fog?! >:(

  • Nils Jakobson
    Nils JakobsonMåned siden

    People are losing faith.. Even when they will finally get it done after another 3 failures everyone will be like: meeh, that is cool but I would not fly it.

  • Jakob
    JakobMåned siden

    One thing I really like with Space X is how fast they are in just keep trying.,, their tempo for testing these flights and landings, and no matter if its blows we try again and soon as it is possible.. it is this trial & error tempo, that likely will give them the edge..

  • Sawyer AWR
    Sawyer AWRMåned siden

    I'm kinda getting a Mercury-Atlas 1 vibe from this: where the rocket was launched on an overcast/rainy day and the guys at Cape Canaveral couldn't see what the hell was going on. I'm going to say that it was probably a different failure mode for SN11, but the sight issue just reminded me of it.

  • John Holgate
    John HolgateMåned siden

    I am curious about the possibility that they may not be telling us the truth in regards to the flight termination system. At some point in time, it seems important to find out how many small pieces and how far they would fly in the event of an intentional RUD. Maybe they thought that with all the upgrades in SN15, they figured that SN11 was somewhat dispensable, and they “had their finger on the button” so to speak, and when things started going south, they decided to test the FTS. It would make sense for them to deny this, at least initially, in case they caused damage or injury by exploding it. Anyway- I think we are all on the edge of our seats to find out if the 100 upgrades on SN15 will fix all previous issues and make it the first flawless prototype. Good luck on your Dear Moon aspirations!!!

  • J. Gaulke
    J. GaulkeMåned siden

    South Africa continued SDI laser development we could not. Now perfected as a weapon that has come of age, Lasing weapons are so powerful they can be used in our atmosphere and still do the job. STARLINK gas 5 lasers on it, 4 are admittedly for cell-to-cell trunk jumping but the fifth is a laser oc mysterious nature and purpose. When trump said that he could kill in a very public place in daylight and get away with it, this type of weapon is what he had in mind. Every terrestrial and atmospheric 'accident' from these weapons is invisible to the human eye. Unless you know what you are watching for, you will miss it.

  • Peterborough Peteborough

    Peterborough Peteborough

    Måned siden


  • Jay Del Rosario
    Jay Del RosarioMåned siden

    Ynstjnq believed Used your senses...

  • megabassX
    megabassXMåned siden

    I always look forward for your analysis videos Scott!. I am curious if the autogenous pressurization system was the cause of this, could this have caused a ignite due to seals?

  • EclipsaMyrtenaster
    EclipsaMyrtenasterMåned siden

    The thumbnail is actually me when my math teacher asks me to find x but I can't even multiple without using my hands

  • John Colley
    John ColleyMåned siden

    they successfully proved that even if you cannot see a Spacex ship. it'll STILL explode,as designed.

  • Known as
    Known asMåned siden


  • Lukas M
    Lukas MMåned siden

    To me, it looks like the explosion mus have happened at the upper centre of the rocket. Can't be lower, because then, the engines wouldn't lay so close to each other. Also, tge bottom skirt, the nosecone and the engines are the only recogniseable parts, so the explosion must've been between them.

  • Ryan Davis
    Ryan DavisMåned siden

    I wonder if all those "dear moon" applications got pulled? 😂

  • Kloko Loko
    Kloko LokoMåned siden

    Oxidizer and propellant mixed inside pressure tanks before explosion ?

  • Kevlar Editor
    Kevlar EditorMåned siden

    I bet an engine exploded sending shrapnel into the tanks

  • NotHeisenBear
    NotHeisenBearMåned siden

    They hooked up the atogenous pressurization system backwards.

  • Paul Tudor
    Paul TudorMåned siden

    At 28 seconds into the video there seems to be propellant burning above the left "cowling"/engine for a word. May be a leak which built up propellant which then ignited blowing everything up.

  • foxboy64


    Måned siden

    the leak wouldnt have built up propellant, it was on fire and would have been burning it off. musky stated that this fire was part of the cause though! it burned up some avionics which lead to (from what i can decipher, to me most of it is just technobabble) an over pressure event in one of the turbopumps which became the primary source of the explosion.

  • Gacheru Mburu
    Gacheru MburuMåned siden


    GEODEAHOLIC MMåned siden

    what kind of drooling idiot tests a new experimental cutting edge hi-tech rocket in THICK PEA SOUP FOG ???

  • Orion2525
    Orion2525Måned siden

    The "Real" mission was a secret controlled implosion to create a wormhole to an Alternate Universe. The payload included 2 of each animal as embryos. Lol

  • Ruben Leal
    Ruben LealMåned siden

    It was shot out of the sky by Jeff Bezos.

  • Lion McLionhead
    Lion McLionheadMåned siden

    Just keep launching them until they start working or we run out of money, says Elon.

  • roxanna Mason
    roxanna MasonMåned siden

    Too energetic to be FTS, sounds like LOx/Methane premix to detonation. Post test forensics of the debris which is a permeant record of the failure point and brisance indicator of the detonation. Maybe engine #2 had a back flow of propellants intermixing internally. A very Murphy like event to have happened in the fog. Photography would certainly have been a good diagnostic. - K

  • Slider68
    Slider68Måned siden

    I wonder if something went seriously wrong with the turbo-pumps, causing fuel and oxygen to mix in the tanks?

  • Phillip D
    Phillip DMåned siden

    I can tell you exactly what happened. It fall down go boom.

  • Goupi Goupi
    Goupi GoupiMåned siden

    Bad idea to launch in thick fog. Data gathering is essential in such experimental flights where so many things may go wrong. Of course they have tons of sensor information but a few good images would have been very helpful in establishing what went wrong.

  • UnkeptFreerider
    UnkeptFreeriderMåned siden

    Could be it a structural failure with the tank? What I mean is, is it possible that when the engines fired that the force of the and engines and the aerodynamics of the nose caused it to ‘fold’ in on itself thus creating a mixture and large explosion, or maybe just the energy from it folding in half could cause a large debris field.

  • Mighty2107
    Mighty2107Måned siden

    6:53 "Internal explosion, you said? It appears it was an... inside yob. YEAAAHHH

  • P C
    P CMåned siden

    Here's what I think could be an important question for Space X. They spend Millions of dollars on each SN Rocket and then it explodes during a test to make it reusable. They are spending over a Billion dollars without recouping a cent. Of course, they are getting close to reusability but have many milestones yet to achieve. All this while building their launch facility and production facility. I wonder if they would consider trying to make some money in a "Disposable launch vehicle"? Soon, they should be able to launch a payload with Starship. They could plan for it's demise. Then, after the payload is launched, they get paid, and then continue to test the vehicle to develop its reusable capabilities. At least they'd get some return out of the development process they are not getting now!

  • Chuck Sweet
    Chuck SweetMåned siden

    What is the possibility that the centripetal forces of going from horizontal to vertical while winding the engines up, and those pumps are essentially high speed centrifuges, what kind of un-resolved torque could be the problem they are having with the flip-landings? Perhaps a need to go to vertical sooner, just on flaps and thrusters and Then start engines while in the upright position, thus no added engine pump torque and RUD situations?

  • Mike Collings
    Mike CollingsMåned siden

    Scott - a thought. It seems that the main issue is the poor fuel/oxygen feed to the motors. What if the tanks had a baffle from the bottom (being the bottom when the spacecraft is falling in its wings) sufficiently up the tank so that there was enough fuel aft of it to run the landing burn. So, say the baffle was 10 metres up (as in towards the nosecone), and say covered half to 3/4 of the tank area, also the fuel outlet, instead of being in the centre of the tank is at the bottom edge. When in vertical flight, the fuel would run from the full tanks to the engines as normal. When the rocket flips to a horizontal position the fuel to the aft of the baffle would fill the tanks to the level of the top of the baffle, and the remainder would slosh around the tank towards the nose. When starting the motors in a horizontal position, there would be enough fuel to keep them happy (especially if the exit was "below" the centre of the tank), and if the burn were to continue to landing, the remaining fuel would flow down from above the baffle to keep the motors going. This seems to me to be a relatively simple engineering problem to be solved, and does not involve extra small tanks, helium pressure etc.. I should like to send a sketch if you are interested. What do you think?

  • Swongilford
    SwongilfordMåned siden

    Scott, what do you think about the flame licking around the body of the engine when ascending? It looked like some sort of leaky connection.

  • Anton de Groot
    Anton de GrootMåned siden

    This week i was listening to the radio in my car. I smoke too much so i don't remember the exact topic and conversation unfortunately, but it was a short bit about rockets/spaceX. They played a little clip of an expert giving his thoughts. Lo and behold, i recognized that voice. Scott Manley was on the dutch radio !

  • Stephen Samuel
    Stephen SamuelMåned siden

    I'm guessing that the pipe from the lox tank through the methane tank was on the south side of the ship?:

  • Orr Burgel
    Orr BurgelMåned siden

    Exactly what I was thinking about a few seconds ago watching their latest video

  • Hytindrus
    HytindrusMåned siden

    It looks like tin foil

  • Hytindrus
    HytindrusMåned siden

    We are past explodey boom boom. Why so many boom booms?

  • Stretch 9x
    Stretch 9xMåned siden

    Can't wait until the BN series tests begin. Should be really exciting.

  • Andrej Mucic
    Andrej MucicMåned siden

    It's fun when children run rocketry, for low wages! What could possibly go wrong repeatedly? Break things! It's glorious!

  • Prosty Troll
    Prosty TrollMåned siden

    0:26 ? Anyone? Anyone?

  • The Watchful Hunter
    The Watchful HunterMåned siden

    Thick fog at midnight new moon is next.

  • Kenny Brunton
    Kenny BruntonMåned siden

    Great video

  • Ron's Book Review
    Ron's Book ReviewMåned siden

    At the very least they'll need to upgrade the integrity of the tanks. That could mean making them heavier and costing them performance though.

  • ThompPL1
    ThompPL1Måned siden

    Consider adding a combustion inhibitor to the LCH4 to provide a combustion speed closer to Kerosene ? . . . this might make re-light dynamics easier to predict/control ala Merlin !

  • Skinflaps Meatslapper
    Skinflaps MeatslapperMåned siden

    The weather radar image of SN11 is incorrect, Boca Chica is south of Port Isabel. That little lagoon just under Port Isabel has a peninsula jutting out from the coast inland in a slightly southward direction, that's Boca Chica. There's a tiny little blue dot of reflectivity there which is probably from the high bay because it's about 2 miles east of the launch site.

  • Dean Stephen
    Dean StephenMåned siden

    Taking off in the fog makes no sense at all, unless you want to hide something. Hide what? Perhaps that the testing item on this flight was the effectiveness of the self-destruct mechanism.

  • Severino Pereira Carollo Filho
    Severino Pereira Carollo FilhoMåned siden

    Mr ELON MUSK isn't testing enouth all the components/pieces/engines!!! He needs study carefully how are NASA procedures to make a good job! And I don't understand how he intends to land this enormous Starship on MARS (if it reachs this planet): all aerodinamic tests he is doing is useless because MARS atmosphear is barely thinner and it'll be necessary a FULL TIME ENGINES OPERATION!!! And where will be the FUEL? THIS ENORMOUS SHIP must stay in orbit, NOT LANDING! , like the NASA'S ORION/ARTEMIS well thinking/engeneering Project.

  • The Cold Knight 79
    The Cold Knight 79Måned siden

    could it have been a leakage of methane into the lox header tank line that was ignited when the raptors relighted? That would have broken up the craft in a very similar way to the flight termination system would it not?

  • SeventhSwell
    SeventhSwellMåned siden

    I'm sure we'll understand more when they blow up the next one.

  • Juan Julio Jesus Jiminez
    Juan Julio Jesus JiminezMåned siden

    Lol what a shit show

  • Juan Julio Jesus Jiminez
    Juan Julio Jesus JiminezMåned siden

    I prefer Boca chicas on my senoritas

  • Peter Davidowicz
    Peter DavidowiczMåned siden

    Failure on the South facing side of the rocket, pushing the debris to the north.

  • Doug InOrlando
    Doug InOrlandoMåned siden

    Might have to beef up Raptor engine plumbing & structure to endure a whole lotta shaking going on. Elon needs 6 degree of freedom accelerometers to measure vibrations and resonances ... and accurate FEA models tweaked by measured results to adequately simulate this. I suggest high speed close up cameras to measure vibration movement of reference dots on 100 critical parts of the Raptor. Then verify the Finite Element Analysis model of the Raptor matches the measurements.

  • redrooster303
    redrooster303Måned siden

    Hats off to those who still didn't wanna move house

  • BILL S
    BILL SMåned siden

    0:27 is that orange flame up above the nozzle normal?

  • redrooster303
    redrooster303Måned siden

    I'm an official SM groupie and I aint even ashamed!

  • M_E_G_A_S
    M_E_G_A_SMåned siden

    why doesnt musk offer you a job already

  • Veldtian1
    Veldtian1Måned siden

    SKYLON is the only inherently safe and efficient SSTO concept that's currently in the works, vertical takeoff and landing conventional rocketry is dumb for a huge variety of reasons.

  • Kenneth Lilliehöök
    Kenneth LilliehöökMåned siden

    It was another f*cking seagull. I hate them too.

  • Doug InOrlando

    Doug InOrlando

    Måned siden

    Angry Bird gets revenge

  • Danny Mancheno
    Danny ManchenoMåned siden

    After every crash.. i just remind myself this is still just another step towards the first sidewinder.

  • alan connelly
    alan connellyMåned siden

    Exactly why they launched it in fog, keeps prying eyes seeing it blow up then spreading the spectacular rocket blowup spread all over youtube. That's o good thing the explosion was hidden from public view.

  • FDS
    FDSMåned siden

    What is causing the fire event in the piping at around 0:30? It looks almost like some hot propellant is leaking? By the looks of it, the yellow flame would indicate a fuel rich combustion, or another material burning...

  • Keith Chamberlain
    Keith ChamberlainMåned siden

    What happened? The thing blew itself to bits. That's what happened.

  • wells5150
    wells5150Måned siden

    What a waste!! The program is a failure. I could finance a small town educational resources for a year with this wasted $. Plan better.

  • Vlad Macovei
    Vlad MacoveiMåned siden

    I wonder how much the fog slows down the investigation. I know they have to evacuate a small village every time they make a test and that costs a lot but i wonder if the investigation would now cost much more than a scrub. I also guess the FAA doesn't care if the day was foggy, they require the same minimum safety guarantees. So maybe no more foggy launches for tests?

  • David Lance
    David LanceMåned siden

    I just read through many of the comments posted on this site. A lot of them are hilarious.

  • David Lance
    David LanceMåned siden

    Scott, I am one of many of your devoted fans. You have by far the best space-related NOprojects broadcast. I watch them all. I am writing to ask you where did you get that super model of the Saturn V Rocket and Launch Tower? I know you are very busy. But, if you could find the time would you please do a video or where are you get your models from? By the way sn10 was a truly reusable rocket. It is the only one that I know of that launched twice in a matter of minutes. Sincerely, David in Orlando Florida

  • milosz lewandowski
    milosz lewandowskiMåned siden

    This is the third or fourth time the engines have failed. I'm my opinion there's someone in the engineering that wants to see spacex fail or something. There's probably an employee that's sabotages the missions..... Or maybe the engineers just aren't doing their jobs.... Something needs to change because this is happening to many times. If there is a person in the company that's perhaps not installing components correctly needs to be found and arrested.

  • HenryLoenwind
    HenryLoenwindMåned siden

    I'll just stop speculating and say it was a submarine-to-air missile. ;)

  • W. Apnj
    W. ApnjMåned siden

    Why is no one talking about the stupidity of launching in fog? Visual observation is a key element in test evaluation.

  • maksphoto78
    maksphoto78Måned siden

    RUD = rapid unintentional dissassembly?

  • maksphoto78
    maksphoto78Måned siden

    "What happens in the fog, stays in the fog"

  • Willco5114
    Willco5114Måned siden

    This is the nature of rocketry and always has been.

  • Lewis Costin
    Lewis CostinMåned siden

    Clearly aliens

  • Bushcraft1974
    Bushcraft1974Måned siden

    Scott, serious question here as all the armchair youtube experts keep saying my idea is stupid..... can't they rig up a set of engines and tanks on a machine that allows the horizontal and vertical aspects of the flight happen but with it static on the ground? Let the rig slosh around during the various stages of flight without sending up a full on starship? Something is clearly happening with the engines when they are being flipped around which they don't like? They could do lots of shorter manoeuvres on this static rig to maybe iron out some of the problems without blowing up expensive ships every time?

  • Doug InOrlando

    Doug InOrlando

    Måned siden

    Yota Toomy you forget deceleration in the forward direction combines vectorially with the gravity vector to determine what direction is “the lower level”

  • Bushcraft1974


    Måned siden

    @Yota Toomy Yes exactly my point! The newness of what Starship is trying to do has led to forces being put on the engines and tanks but to my small knowledge they never tested all that sloshing around before the first flip test...was that SN9? If they have done these static tests i will concede but it seems like they are trying to run before learning to walk? I don't like ship after ship crashing for what is seemingly the same problem......the engines don't like lighting after the tanks have been horizontal?