SpaceX Starship test flight ends in fiery explosion

SpaceX Starship test flight ends in fiery explosion

The prototype experienced a "hard landing" after its successful ascent, a flawless flip maneuver to position itself for a landing before it exploded, seconds after touching the ground.

The entire flight - as dramatic and flashy as it gets, even by SpaceX standards - lasted six minutes and 42 seconds.

He says that could happen as early as in four to six years.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who founded the Blue Origin rocket company, offered swift congratulations.

As of publishing (1:30 pm EST, UTC-5), NASA's WB-57 jet is scheduled to take off from Houston's Ellington Airport at 2:12 pm CST, arriving "on station" in the vicinity of SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas launch pad around 3:10 pm.

Starship is actually the upper stage of Musk's envisioned moon- and Mars-ships. The entire vehicle will tower 394 feet (120 meters) - 31 feet (9.4 meters) taller than NASA's Saturn V rocket that hurled men to the moon a half-century ago.

The stainless steel Starship is created to be a versatile, fully reusable craft that can carry 100 metric tons for deep space missions to the moon and Mars but also serve as a hypersonic, point-to-point vehicle to reduce travel times across Earth.

Right before Wednesday's launch, NASA announced the 18 US astronauts who will train for the Artemis moon-landing program.

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He recounted the successful parts of the rocket's short late afternoon trip: the take-off, the change of position in flight and its [pre-explosion] precise landing trajectory. But Musk is the first to admit his timelines can be overly optimistic.

"Mars, here we come!".

After skimming the stratosphere, the Starship returned to the earth's surface, exploding as it hit the ground.

"We got all the data we needed!"

SpaceX's first high-altitude test flight of its next-generation Starship spacecraft ended in a massive fireball in South Texas after a mission that otherwise went smoothly until the landing, prompting an upbeat reaction from founder Elon Musk. "Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!" he tweeted.

Elon Musk and SpaceX's duo embrace their mistakes and try to learn from them, turning the disastrous end into a success for the company's stainless steel spacecraft test launch. After 4 minutes and 45 seconds of flight, its third engine was turned off and the rocket began its descent into its expected state.

The engines were restarted a few seconds before landing in an attempt to slow the ship down, but it crashed hard into the ground. But the company left unclear whether the rocket had flown that high.

During an interview with The Washington Post in 2016, when Musk was calling Starship the "Mars Colonial Transporter", he said his goal was "having an architecture that would enable the creation of a self-sustaining city on Mars with the objective of being a multi-planet species and a true space-faring civilization and one day being out there among the stars".

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