On Wednesday SpaceX launched one of its Starship prototypes, specifically Serial Number 10, and unlike the Starships before it, SpaceX stuck the landing.
The Starship flew for about six minutes, reaching high altitude before touching down in Boca Chica, Texas. All was well, until it wasn’t.
Following the successful touchdown, a fire developed at SN10’s base and, while nothing happened during the live stream, just eight minutes after touchdown the rocket exploded.
The explosion was captured by webcams operated by South Padre Islands in Texas.
At around the six minute mark you can see SN10 explode launching itself into the air before crashing back down to Earth.
SpaceX is yet to comment on the explosion but The Independent quotes experts who point to a rough landing and a methane leak for the reason SN10 met a fiery doom.
Even with an explosion, this is a rather successful test flight for SpaceX mainly because it stuck the landing where SN8 and SN9 met the Earth with fire.
Starship is SpaceX’s moonshot, where moonshot here means a literal shot at the Moon.
SpaceX hopes to use this rocket to take crew and cargo to the Moon before Starship’s eventual destination,- Mars.
This also won’t be the last time we hear about Starship. A report from Space.com reveals that SpaceX is already building multiple SN10 successors and we may just get to see the Super Heavy iteration of the spacecraft soon.
SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk also hopes to put Starship into orbit this year.
It’s going to be a busy year for the spacefaring firm, here’s hoping there are fewer explosions.
You can watch the full SN10 launch and landing below along with commentary from SpaceX.