SpaceX Starship SN10 nails the landing, then explodes

CE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX’s futuristic spaceship looked like it triggered a touchdown on Wednesday, but then exploded on the landing pad with so much force that it was thrown into the air.

The error occurred just minutes after SpaceX declared success. Two previous test flights landed in fireballs.

The scale prototype of Elon Musk’s proposed Mars ship rose more than 10 kilometers after taking off from the southern tip of Texas on Wednesday. It descended horizontally over the Gulf of Mexico and then flipped open just in time to land.

The gleaming spherical-scale rocket ship this time remained intact on touchdown, prompting SpaceX commentator John Insprucker to declare that “the third time is a spell, as the saying goes” SpaceX has finished webcasting the test.

But then the spaceship exploded and was thrown into the air before hitting the ground in flames.

There was no immediate comment from SpaceX about what went wrong. But Musk looked positive in a tweet: “Starship 10 landed in one piece! RIP SN10, honorable discharge. “

He added, “The SpaceX team is doing a great job! One day the real measure of success will be that spacecraft flights are the order of the day. “

Musk plans to use spaceships to send people to the moon and Mars.

The last two prototypes reached similar heights in December and February but hit the ground and exploded in Boca Chica, Texas.

Each of these last three test flights lasted 6½ minutes.

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