In yet another blow to SpaceX founder and billionaire Elon Musk's Mars ambitions, an unmanned SpaceX Starship rocket exploded on the ground after carrying out a seemingly successful flight and landing. This was not the first botch-up involving the prototype rocket. Last two test flights of the prototype rocket-SN8 and SN9 also culminated in crashes.
"A beautiful landing," said a SpaceX commentator on the live broadcast despite crews attempting to put out the flames emanating from the rocket. Following this, the rocket was thrown into the air, crashed back into the ground and exploded.
The latest prototype named SN10 after serial number 10 took off around 11:20 GMT from Texas' Boca China.
SpaceX conducts these tests in a deserted area leased in South Texas near the Mexican border and next to the Gulf of Mexico. The area is vast enough to ensure that an accident or explosion does not cause much loss of life and property.
The SpaceX Starship SN10 is powered by three Raptor engines, much like its predecessors SN8 and SN9. Each of these engines shut down one by one before the vehicle reaches the apogee (the point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is furthest from the earth).
The rocket will also be useful in closer trips like the Moon if it becomes operational.
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