A video of Elon Musk being asked a question about his SpaceX rocket by a YouTuber – and realizing he’s made a vital error is like watching a penny drop in realtime.
The intelligent enquiry by Everyday Astronaut, aka Tim, was asked at exactly the right time for the billionaire to realise his error and – crucially – correct it.
“You don’t even need a cold gas thruster system…you already have hot gas,” says Musk.
“But this is only for the booster, right?” Tim asked.
You can watch the incredible conversation in the video below:
Appearing deep in thought the SpaceX founder and CEO replies: “Arguably, now you mentioned it, it might be wise to do this for the ship too.”
“We’re gonna fix that.”
Tim was visiting SpaceX’s ‘Starbase’ in 2021, however, upon being invited back more than six months later, it was revealed by SpaceX chief, Elon Musk, that his question led to vital changes.
The tweak involved using excess gas from the Starship’s main engines for manoeuvring thrusters instead of separate cold gas thrusters.
Starship took off from the Starbase launch site in Texas in November on a 90-minute mission to orbit and back.
It reached 90 miles (148 kilometers) above ground, and the rocket’s Super Heavy first-stage booster sadly exploded.
A statement on X from the company explained: “The booster experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after stage separation while Starship’s engines fired for several minutes on its way to space.”