BOCA CHICA, Texas – Another test flight, another explosion, but SpaceX crew say they learned a lot at their facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
On Tuesday, the company, owned by Elon Musk, performed its second test of its bullet-shaped vessel. Just like in the first test, it exploded during a hard landing.
The large-scale stainless steel rocket reached its planned altitude of 10 kilometers, slightly lower than the previous one. Everything seemed to be going well when the 160-foot (50-meter) Starship rolled over onto its side and began its descent. But he failed to recover in time for a landing and crashed into the ground.
“We just need to work a bit on this landing,” SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said. “Recall – this is a test flight.”
Starship SN9, SpaceX’s first prototype for a rocket the company hopes will carry the first humans to Mars, exploded on landing during a test flight. This is the second consecutive test for SpaceX that ended in a violent crash. https://t.co/gTP3YHCjQC pic.twitter.com/op5lgk3Mdm
– CNN (@CNN) February 3, 2021
Another ship is on standby. The intention is to eventually transport passengers to Mars, and the goal is to do so within several years.
This is the upper stage of the lunar and Martian ships planned by Musks, intended to be launched atop a mega-rocket called Super Heavy which is still under development.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.