The SN9 prototype was unlucky from the beginning. During construction in the hangar, it tilted slightly and hit the hangar wall. The damage was not serious, so the engineers decided to allow the vehicle for testing and flight. Unfortunately, Starship had another bad luck during the take-off. Experts believe one of the Raptor engines has failed.
A similar problem also arose during the flight and return to Earth of the SN8 prototype, which exploded hitting the plate of the Boca Chica facility in December last year. At that time, a problem with the engine prevented the vehicle from stopping before the landing field. In the case of SN9, the problem with the Raptor made the vehicle swing too late and failed to return to vertical.
It is not yet known what steps SpaceX will take in this matter. Prototypes are equipped with only 3 engines. However, the full-size version of Starship will have 6 engines, and the SuperHeavy rocket will have 31. More engines, the greater the likelihood of failure. If Raptor engines have a hidden defect that shows up in flight and not in static testing, engineers will have a big problem. It could delay Starship and SuperHeavy's maiden flight around the Moon next year.
Meanwhile, the engineers will start testing another prototype, designated SN10, within days. First, however, they cybernet digital have to inspect it, as the SN9 explosion was so powerful that the debris of the vehicle could damage the steel plating of the new vehicle. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the next flight from start to finish will go smoothly, because it will be the next big step towards a manned flight to Mars.