SpaceX Mars Test Rocket Launches Successfully, Explodes on Landing

An unmanned SpaceX prototype Starship rocket exploded on landing after its launch on Dec. 8 in Cameron County, Texas.

An unmanned SpaceX prototype Starship rocket exploded on landing, making impact into the ground, after its launch on Dec. 8 in Cameron County, Texas.

Founded and run by Elon Musk, SpaceX livestreamed the launch of its 160-foot-tall spaceship, soaring about 12.8 kilometers above the company’s testing facility. 

The spacecraft “performed its landing flip maneuver with precise flap control,” then slammed into the ground in flames and smoke after its six-minute test flight.

However, Musk still called the ascent “successful” and congratulated the team in a tweet.

“Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team, hell yeah!” Musk tweeted.

“With a test such as this, success is not measured by completion of specific objectives but rather how much we can learn, which will inform and improve the probability of success in the future as SpaceX rapidly advances development of Starship,” the company wrote in its website.

SpaceX aims for the Starship spacecraft with Serial Number 8 or SN8 to carry human passengers and cargo to Mars.


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