Elon Musk owned SpaceX has announced another launch tomorrow after the its second full test flight of its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship exploded yester night.
SpaceX launched its latest Starship prototype from the south-eastern tip of Texas, two months after the previous test ended in an equally explosive belly flop.
Now targeting two Falcon 9 launches of Starlink satellites on Thursday, February 4, pending range acceptance and recovery weather conditions. First Falcon 9 launch at 1:19 a.m. EST from SLC-40, followed by another Falcon 9 launch ~4 hours later at 5:36 a.m. EST from LC-39A
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 3, 2021
The full-scale stainless steel rocket reached its intended altitude of 6.2 miles (10km), slightly lower than the last one.
Everything seemed to be going well as the 160ft (50m) 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 six and a half 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.