Despite a successful launch in South Texas, the SpaceX SN9 rocket prototype ended in a ball of fire and flames during a test flight on February 2, Space.com reported.
The Starship SN9 is a 16 storey, self-guided rocket. In its launch, it reached its intended altitude of 10 kilometres but ultimately exploded on impact as it attempted to land upright.
The launch took place at approximately 2:35 pm GMT, but its engines began to shut down shortly after.
It was in the air for just over six minutes before ending in flames, but luckily the fire was contained and did not spread.
SpaceX’s Starship SN9 prototype failed to stick its landing, crashing and exploding near its launch site. (Photo: Courtesy of SpaceX)
The ending was similar to that of the SN8 rocket, which was also launched in Texas back in December 2020, making this the company’s second rocket explosion in just two months.
“We had, again, another great flight up,” said SpaceX principle integration engineer John Insprucker in the company’s webcast of the flight on Febuary 2.
“We’ve just got to work on that landing a bit,” he added.
CEO Elon Musk has announced in the past that he hopes the starship will one day reach its goal of getting to the moon and Mars.
The rocket, constructed out of stainless steel, is nicknamed SN9 as it stands for “Serial Number 9.” It was given the green light for liftoff by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) a day before its launch.
The full video of the launch, test-flight and explosion can be found on the official SpaceX Twitter.
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