SpaceX test launch ended in a fiery blaze but founder Elon Musk remains optimistic and considers it a success nonetheless.
SpaceX's Starship prototype exploded while attempting to land after being launched from the company's rocket facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
Massive fiery explosion
The company livestreamed the launch of its unmanned and self-guided Starship spacecraft with a Super Heavy rocket for a high-altitude test flight on Wednesday. And although the descent back to Earth went smoothly it wasn't until it attempted to land that it exploded into what looked like a giant fire ball consuming the spacecraft whole.
Following the explosion, Elon Musk took to Twitter to explain what had happened:
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!!
But ultimately deemed the whole six and a half minute test a complete success and even hinted at future missions by saying:
Mars, here we come!
The SpaceX website later wrote:
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 site said
The Starship rocket that was destroyed in the test was a 16 storey-tall prototype that was being developed by Musk's private space company. The aim of SpaceX is to carry humans and 100 tons of cargo on future colonizing missions to the moon and Mars.
This passed May, SapceX succesfully launched the Crew Dragon capsule, taking astronauts to the International Space Station marking this event the first time a commercial vehicle from a privately owned company successfully carrying NASA astronauts into space.
Watch the video above to see the massive explosion for yourself!