SpaceX’s second full test flight of its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship ended in another fiery crash landing Tuesday.
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Elon Musk’s company launched its latest Starship prototype from the southeastern tip of Texas, two months after the previous test ended in an equally explosive belly flop.
The full-scale stainless steel rocket reached its intended altitude of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), slightly lower than the last one. Everything seemed to be going well as the 160-foot (50-meter) Starship flipped on its side and began its descent. But it did not manage to straighten itself back up in time for a landing and slammed into the ground.
“We’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit,” said SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker. “Reminder — this is a test flight.”
The next Starship stood nearby at the launch site in Boca Chica, Texas, during Tuesday’s test, which lasted 6 1/2 minutes.
Musk is developing Starship to carry people to Mars, perhaps in as little as several years. It’s the upper stage of his intended moon- and Mars-ships, meant to launch atop a mega rocket called Super Heavy that is still being developed.
The Associated Press contributed to this article