SpaceX’s second full test flight of its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship ended in another fiery crash landing on Tuesday.
Elon Musk’s company 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.
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.