Science

'Got to work on that landing': SpaceX rocket in fiery crash, again

'Got to work on that landing': SpaceX rocket in fiery crash, again”

However, only one of the three Raptor engines ignited, and the vehicle appeared to swing past the vertical.

"All four flaps are actuated by an onboard flight computer to control Starship's attitude during flight and enable precise landing at the intended location".

Starship will pull off the same manoeuvre when the finished spacecraft makes its first trip to Mars.

The flight was similar to the one one SpaceX conducted back in December, when it launched prototype SN8 on the highest and longest flight to date.

Starship SN9 exploding on landing, in close proximity to its SN10 successor.

Today's high-altitude test flight of SpaceX's SN9 Starship prototype followed a familiar pattern for anyone who caught the test flight of its SN8 predecessor: A smooth liftoff, a graceful flight path that checked off all the boxes for what SpaceX hoped to learn...and then a hard crash landing that resulted in a spectacular explosion on the ground, and the total loss of the prototype.

Seconds before crashing, some debris appeared to break off from the rocket.

SN9 then crashed into the ground and was blown to smithereens.

As it neared the pad, Starship flipped back to the vertical and ignited its engines.

More news: Dolly Parton Turned Down The Presidential Medal Of Freedom Twice

SpaceX fans have now flocked to social media to share their mix of excitement and disappointment at how the events unfolded.

The FAA has stayed quiet while Musk airs his frustrations online, but the division told DailyMail.com: 'We will continue working with SpaceX to resolve outstanding safety issues before we approve the next test flight'.

A third person said: "A bit too light on the power the first time, a wild swing this time, looks like an engine didn't relight to stabilize it".

The aerospace company intends to use the fully-developed rocket to transport up to 100 people at a time during missions to Mars and the moon.

The SN9 was ready to launch last week, but had to wait for FAA clearance - without which SpaceX scrubbed launches earlier this week.

It's important to remember that these are test flights; this is part of how engineers learn, and sometimes it's loud and messy. It was not immediately clear what went wrong.

The next Starship stood nearby at the launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, during today's test, which lasted 6.5 minutes.

One SpaceX fan said: "It took Falcon 9 so many tries to eventually nail the landing that SpaceX had enough footage for an entire crash highlight reel haha".

"Starship achieving nearly all other objectives of this test flight (belly flop!) matters much more".



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