Yesterday, Wednesday December 9, the SpaceX Starship flight test did not end so well. It is not the first time.
Dramatic footage showed that the latest prototype of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship rocket’s test flight ended in a fiery fireball.
SpaceX Starship flight test ended in fireball
The rocketship blasted several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, December 9th, for a six-and-a-half-minute test flight. It was the highest and most complex flight yet. SpaceX and Tesla owner, the billionaire Elon Musk said could send people to Mars in as little as six years, hopefully.
The latest prototype was equipped with a nose cone, body flaps and three engines. It was 50 metres tall and 9 metres in diameter. It was shooting for an altitude of up to eight miles. This is almost 100 times higher than previous leaps, since it was trying to skim the stratosphere, passing through the ozonosphere.
Initially, the spaceship seemed to hit the mark, or at least to come close to it. Anyway, SpaceX has not said how high it went.
The rocket flew out over the Gulf of Mexico and after about five minutes, it flipped indirectly as prepared and fell in a free-fall back to the southeastern tip of Texas near the Mexican border. This is when things got rough. The Raptor engines reignited for braking and the rocket tipped back upright. Upon touching down, the rocketship became covered in flames and cracked parts scattering.
The entire flight lasted over six minutes and 40 seconds. SpaceX broadcast the sunset demo live on its website. “Awesome test. Congratulations Starship team!” read a scroll across the screen.
Mr Musk kept expectations low going into this first high-altitude attempt by Starship. He warned earlier this week there was “probably” a one-in-three chance of complete success.