December 9 2020 6:45pm

SpaceX Starship prototype explodes during landing following high-altitude test

A SpaceX Starship unmanned prototype exploded upon impact while attempting to land about six and half minutes after launch on Wednesday. The send-off from SpaceX’s launch site near Boca Chica Beach in Texas was the first time the company had attempted to fly the Starship at a high altitude. Previous tests have not included the nose cone, flaps or other features needed to control its flight in the upper atmosphere. The prototype flew to its peak altitude and then performed a flip maneuver to return to earth, where it attempted to land vertically. The Starship appeared to come in too hot and exploded as it hit the ground. SpaceX founder Elon Musk had estimated the prototype had a one in three chance of a successful landing.

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