SpaceX’s rocket prototype Starship SN8 exploded on its first attempt landing from a highly anticipated “hop” on Wednesday afternoon.
The rocket launched from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas facility near the Gulf Coast just after 4:30 p.m. CST.
Video posted to social media shows the fiery explosion on impact, just more than six-and-a-half minutes in flight.
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) December 9, 2020
Watch the entire launch, beginning at 1:47:53 in the video below:
Footage of the landing pad shows a smokey wreckage.
— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) December 9, 2020
Despite the explosion, the SpaceX team seemed pleased with the test.
“Successful ascent, switchover to header tanks & precise flap control to landing point!” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted. “Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!”
Fuel header tank pressure was low during landing burn, causing touchdown velocity to be high & RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congrats SpaceX team hell yeah!!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2020
The explosion took place one day after the SN8’s flight was canceled just two seconds before liftoff after an abnormality was detected in one of its three engines.
The hop event was a highly anticipated eight-mile flight.
Starship is the space vehicle SpaceX is developing with the aim to transport people and cargo to the moon, Mars, and other space destinations.