SpaceX Finally Lands a Rocket Successfully - Only for It to Explode Minutes Later


For a moment, Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s newest test rocket was sitting pretty Wednesday.

Then it was gone in a massive fireball.

The rocket was the third test of what SpaceX founder Elon Musk hopes will be a fleet of reusable rockets that will ferry travelers to the moon and, eventually, Mars.

Although the first two test rockets took off without incident, they exploded into fireballs before landing.

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On Wednesday, things went slightly better.

“Third time’s a charm, as the saying goes,” SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker said at the Wednesday evening launch, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Around 5:15 p.m. in Boca Chica, Texas, the Starship SN-10 prototype roared about six miles up from SpaceX’s seaside launch pad, then went through maneuvers on its descent, with the goal of landing upright.

At first, it seemed like a success. The rocket was leaning a little, but it was upright.

But it also was on fire, and about eight minutes after landing it blew up.

“We’ve had a successful soft touchdown on the landing pad, capping a beautiful test flight of Starship 10,” Insprucker said.

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“As a reminder, a key point of today’s test flight was to gather the data on controlling the vehicle while re-entering, and we were successful in doing so,” he said.

The going theory was that a fire may have ignited fuel, leading to the blast.

Musk plans to use the Starship as a moon shuttle, land NASA astronauts there and eventually settle explorers on Mars.

The Starship’s first orbital flight is expected later this year, according to Bloomberg.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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