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SpaceX Starship prototype crashes while a landing attempt after another clean, uncrewed launch

SpaceX Starship prototype crashes while a landing attempt

March 31, 2021:-On Tuesday, the latest SpaceX prototype of its Starship rocket was destroyed in a landing attempt after a clean launch.

The company’s live stream of the flight test froze as the rocket came into land, and thick fog around SpaceX’s facility in Texas making it hard to witness.

Starship prototype Serial Number 11 (SN11) reached its target altitude of nearly 10 kilometers (32,800 feet). The rocket is made of stainless steel, representing the early versions of the missile unveiled in 2019. Elon Musk’s company is developing Starship to launch cargo and people on missions to the moon and Mars.

The Starship prototypes stand at nearly 150 feet tall, or about the size of a 15-story building, and three Raptor rocket engines power each one.

“Something significant happened after landing burn starts. Should know what it was once we could examine the bits later today,” Musk tweeted.

SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker noted that the thick fog in the area prevented the company from showing camera views beyond the rocket itself.

“The frozen view we saw in the camera doesn’t mean that we’re waiting for the signal to come back; Starship 11 is not coming back. Don’t wait for the landing,” Insprucker said.

Musk’s goal is for Starship to be fully reusable, envisioning a rocket similar to a commercial aircraft capable of launching with minor maintenance and fuel between flights.

On Tuesday, Musk said that SpaceX’s next prototype, Starship SN15, will roll out to the launchpad “in a few days.”

Starship is one of two “Manhattan Projects” that SpaceX is developing simultaneously, with its Starlink satellite internet program on the other side.

Previously, Musk has estimated that it will cost around $5 billion to develop Starship completely, although SpaceX has not disclosed how much it has spent on the program to date. The company last month brought in $850 million in its recent capital fundraise at a $74 billion valuation.

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