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Video: SpaceX's Starship high-altitude flight test ends with a big explosion – again

The landing of SN9 ended in the same way as SN8, a big fireball.
Credit: SpaceX

TEXAS, USA — SpaceX collected even more data for its Starship prototype vehicle, but it can't quite seem to stick the landing just yet.

The company launched SN9 from its Cameron County, Texas, site Tuesday afternoon; and, at first, all appeared OK for the high-altitude suborbital flight test.

But then came getting Starship back safely to Earth. SpaceX ultimately wanted to have SN9 reorient itself to attempt a vertical landing after reaching a height of 10 kilometers, or a little more than 6 miles.

From the company's live feed, it appeared SN9 came in too hot and at an angle.

"We've just gotta work on that landing a little bit," the live stream presenter said.

Tuesday's test ended in yet another explosive crash, coming two months after the previous test resulted in a fiery belly flop.

According to the Associated Press, the stainless steel rocket reached its intended altitude of 6.2 miles before things went awry during the 6.5-minute test.

The previous story is below.


SpaceX is getting ready to attempt another high-altitude suborbital flight test of its Starship prototype.

The launch of SN9 has been cleared to take place at the company's Cameron County, Texas, site as early as Tuesday, Feb 2.

The latest launch follows the explosive landing of the SN8 prototype last December, which, according to owner Elon Musk was a success.

Now, the latest model will once again attempt to lift off the pad, hover above the ground for several minutes and then cut off its Raptor engines for descent.

The goal is for SN9 to successfully reorient itself to attempt a vertical landing.

"A controlled aerodynamic descent with body flaps and vertical landing capability, combined with in-space refilling, are critical to landing Starship at destinations across the solar system where prepared surfaces or runways do not exist, and returning to Earth," SpaceX wrote.

You can catch the flight test live here.

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