One of the first prototypes of the SpaceX rockets to travel to Mars, according to Elon Musk’s plans, just failed its test flight on Wednesday. The Starship SN10 landed safely back on Earth after a high-altitude test, but exploded minutes later.
After reaching a height of nearly 10 kilometers, the colossus had to descend slowly to its base. The landing proved successful, but the missile exploded three minutes after landing.
The live broadcast of the prototype SN10 flight ended with cheers. “We had a successful soft landing on the apron,” said John Insprucker, an engineer at SpaceX.
Reason not yet known
But just three minutes after that announcement, the missile exploded. The reason for the detonation is unknown. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, usually so chatty on Twitter, did not comment. The landing itself was a step forward. The previous two test flights failed in their landing and crashed.
It was the prototype of a Starship with serial number SN10. Its successor, the Starship SN11, is already ready and will be launched ‘in the near future’.
Starship must, according to the plans of Musk ever take cargo and people to the moon and Mars. The SpaceX founder wants to make Starship completely reusable, like an airplane.