SpaceX’s second full test flight of its innovative, futuristic and bullet-shaped starship ended in another blazing crash landing on Tuesday.
Elon Musk’s company launched its latest Starship prototype from the south-eastern tip of Texas, two months after the previous test ended in an equally explosive belly flop.
The full-scale stainless steel rocket reached its expected altitude of 6.2 miles (10km), slightly lower than the last one.
Everything was going well as the 160ft (50m) Starship flipped on its side and began its downfall. Although, it did not manage to straighten itself back up in time for a landing and slammed into the ground and creating a blazing explosion.
SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said we’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit. “Reminder this is a test flight.”
SpaceX tried to launch Starship last week but failed to get the required permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Prompting a Twitter outburst from Musk.
SpaceX did not comply with safety regulations for the 9 December flight and needed to take corrective action before proceeding with launch operations. According to the FAA, Tuesday’s flight met all safety criteria.
SpaceX’s first all-civilian space flight set for late this year and Jared Isaacman, the billionaire businessman who will finance and pilot the mission for himself and three others, will drive the publicity push, with the help of a Super Bowl commercial next weekend.