The futuristic SpaceX spacecraft appeared to have made a landing on Wednesday, but then exploded on the landing pad with such force that it was launched into the air.
The error occurred just minutes after SpaceX declared success. Two previous test flights crashed into balls of fire.
The large-scale prototype of the Mars spacecraft envisioned by Elon Musk soared more than six miles (10 kilometers) after taking off from the southern tip of Texas on Wednesday. It descended horizontally over the Gulf of Mexico and then turned vertical just in time to land.
The shiny bullet-shaped spaceship remained intact this time on landing, prompting SpaceX commentator John Insprucker to declare, “the third time is a charm, as the saying goes” before SpaceX ended its broadcast. test website.
But then the spacecraft exploded and was thrown into the air, before crashing to the burning ground.
There was no immediate comment from SpaceX on what went wrong. But Musk looked on the bright side in a tweet: “The Starship 10 landed in one piece!” RIP SN10, honorable discharge. “
He added: “The SpaceX team is doing a great job! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are common. “
Musk plans to use Starships to send people to the Moon and Mars.
The last two prototypes reached a similar height in December and February, but crashed to the ground in Boca Chica, Texas, and exploded.
Each of these last three test flights lasted six and a half minutes.