SpaceX’s newest and biggest rocket made news with its first successful landing on Wednesday. But just then, it exploded and was engulfed by fire.
Based on a live video stream on SpaceX’s website, the Starship SN-10 prototype lifted off from SpaceX’s seaside launch pad in Texas on Wednesday evening. The rocket then flew to an altitude of about 10 kilometres before turning its engines back on to land.
Meanwhile, SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrated the success that SN10 “landed in one piece” after both SN8 and SN9 crashed landed. He also hailed the team at SpaceX for doing “great work”.
Just then, the rocket propelled into the air, and crashed back down.
According to reports, no one was hurt in the mishap, and there have been no reported injuries.
Starship SN10 took off Boca Chica, Texas, from a vast and empty area, so that in the event of any untoward incident, no fatality would be reported.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who wishes to have establish a human colony on Mars, plans to use these rockets to shuttle as many as a dozen people around the moon by 2023, land NASA astronauts on the lunar surface, and eventually settle explorers on Mars.
The stainless steel Starship is a fully reusable craft that can carry 100 metric tons for deep-space missions to the moon and Mars.