The SpaceX Starship SN10 successfully lifted off and landed — and then exploded — as the sun set over Texas on Wednesday. You can see the explosion in the tweet below from NASASpaceflight.
The SN10 prototype of SpaceX’s promised reusable, heavy-load spacecraft rocketed up six miles into the sky before flipping, falling, and maneuvering back softly to the ground. The company described it as a “successful soft touchdown” on its livestream.
After it landed, it appeared to be leaning quite a bit and there was a fire down by its engines. After several minutes, the SN10 exploded, a billowing, fiery blast sending the metal carcass back into the air for a few seconds.
SN10’s launch and landing test followed those of prototypes SN8 and SN9 in recent months, which ended in fiery explosions after failing to land softly or fully upright. The SN10 launch was scheduled for roughly three hours earlier, but was aborted right before it was supposed to take off.