SpaceX prototype rocket explodes on landing in Texas

The SpaceX Starship SN9 prototype explodes at the end of a test flight at the company's facility in Boca Chica Texas on Feb. 2 2021

SpaceX last week unveiled its SN-10 prototype, which is parked beside the SN-9.

According to Mary (aka BocaChicaGal), one of a handful of remaining Boca Chica Village residents, SpaceX has asked the villagers to evacuate for an SN9 launch attempt as early as Tuesday afternoon (CST/UTC-6).

It reached an altitude of 6.2 miles before starting on its descent.

After the rocket climbed to its desired altitude, SN9 cut off its engines and tipped over to its side in a manoeuvre known as the belly flop.

SN9 then crashed into the ground and was blown to smithereens. However, on that flight the vehicle was in the proper vertical orientation for landing, rather than at an angle as with SN9's attempted landing.

Eastern from SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas, test site.

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SpaceX had sought a waiver to exceed the maximum allowable risk to the public of Starship SN8.

SpaceX fans have flooded social media after the fiery crash landing.

One person said: "No No Noooo". Let's hope it doesn't know.


Another person said: "Looks like #SpaceXStarship are just as shoddy as the #teslamodel3, bad workmanship when you rush something that's supposed to be fantastic work".

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given SpaceX the green light to launch its Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) (right) prototype for its first test flight - and the world could see it take off today.

Moments before hitting the ground, SN9 fired its Raptor engines and flipped upright.

Mr Manley tweeted out clips of the failed ignition, saying: "Watch the debris leaving the engine, probably not all the thrust going out the nozzle".

He said SpaceX engineers would pore through data collected from the test to determine what went wrong, and "we'll be back with another Starship in the near future".

In the December test, SpaceX's Starship SN-8 successfully ascended and was stable throughout its almost seven-minute flight.

We'll say this. the reusable capsule looked handsome on the way up. but it's that return flight that gets tricky.

"We just have to work on that landing a little bit", the commentator said, adding, "This is a test flight, the second time we've flown Starship in this configuration". But low pressure in a fuel tank caused the spacecraft to land too rapidly, resulting in the explosion at touchdown.

A live stream of the flight showed how the rocket launched successfully, but exploded on impact when it made an attempt to land.

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