Another SpaceX spaceship prototype explodes, joining Starship graveyard in Texas after ‘exciting’ test

Starship SN11 launched Tuesday morning from Texas but did not survive landing

Fog hides SpaceX's Starship SN 11 during a test launch in Boca Chica, Texas, on March 30, 2021.
Fog hides SpaceX's Starship SN 11 during a test launch in Boca Chica, Texas, on March 30, 2021. (SpaceX/YouTube)

SpaceX launched another Starship spaceship prototype Tuesday morning into a foggy, dark Texas sky but like three other test vehicles, it did not survive the landing.

The launch for SpaceX’s future Mars spaceship came a day after the test flight was postponed.

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SpaceX has plenty of goals when taking its future spaceship on 6-mile-high test flights from Texas but as the company prepares to try again with a new Starship prototype, the goal of keeping the shiny prototype in one piece loomed large.

Just after 9 a.m. EDT, SpaceX conducted its fourth high-altitude test flight from Boca Chica, Texas, using a new Starship spaceship test vehicle. Serial No. 11, or SN11, became the latest prototype subject to the same test flight that has destroyed three previous vehicles.

During the test flight, the shiny bullet-shaped ship soared more than 6 miles into the sky after lifting off from the Texas coast, then it descended horizontally over the Gulf of Mexico before flipping upright just in time to land. It’s the final part that previous Starship prototypes have not survived, at least for very long.

The livestream of the test flight from SpaceX came from views inside the spaceship or near one of the flaps used to control the vehicle’s descent.


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