'Got to work on that landing': SpaceX rocket in fiery crash, again

The SpaceX Starship SN9 prototype explodes at the end of a test flight at the company's facility in Boca Chica Texas on Feb. 2 2021

In the December test, SpaceX's Starship SN-8 successfully ascended and was stable throughout its almost seven-minute flight. While the final evaluation has not been released, commentators on NASA's live feed of the event believed that one of the two Raptors did not ignite, leading to loss of control.

The rocket launched smoothly around 2:35 pm local time (2035 GMT) and progressively shut down its engines as it reached a height of six miles (10 kilometers), then performed a series of test maneuvers in a horizontal "belly flop" position.

Starship will pull off the same manoeuvre when the finished spacecraft makes its first trip to Mars.

SpaceX fans have been dying to see the present iteration of Starship take to the skies after the crash landing of SN8 in December previous year.

Seconds before crashing, some debris appeared to break off from the rocket.

The rocket's three engines ignited, turned off, and then re-ignited for the landing as planned, however the rocket burst into a fireball when it returned to the launch pad.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield tweeted: "Spaceflight is hard".

"We had, again, another great flight up. we've just got to work on that landing a little bit", SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker said on the company's webcast of the flight.

Ultimately, it appears that Tuesday is likely out of the question for Starship SN9's launch debut. "You know, for dramatic effect".

You may recall back in December when SpaceX was doing a short up-and-down test of their colossal new Starship that ended in a crash and a very big fireball when the quad-winged-silo-like rocket attempted to make a vertical landing but came in a bit hot and crashed.

The aerospace company intends to use the fully-developed rocket to transport up to 100 people at a time during missions to Mars and the moon.

SpaceX's Tuesday launch took place shortly after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed the company's compliance with "safety and related federal regulations."
It was not immediately clear what went wrong.

SpaceX had asked to exceed the maximum public risk allowed by US regulations for the December 9 test, the Federal Aviation Administration said in an email Tuesday.

One SpaceX fan said: "It took Falcon 9 so many tries to eventually nail the landing that SpaceX had enough footage for an entire crash highlight reel haha".

SpaceX had asked to exceed the maximum public risk allowed by USA safety regulations for the December 9 test, the Federal Aviation Administration said in an email Tuesday.

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