SpaceX launches test rocket and disassembles before landing


Cape Canaveral, Florida (AP) — On Tuesday, SpaceX failed to land due to its futuristic bullet-shaped starship, as a Martian prototype rocket broke shortly before landing.

The rocket’s camera froze less than six minutes after the test flight, and thick fog in southern Texas obscured the view of the ruptured rocket. Other videos showed the debris raining and hearing an explosion.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “At least the crater is in the right place.” He named it the launch and landing area at Starbase, near the Mexican border, on the southeastern tip of Texas.

This was the fourth full-scale stainless steel model launched at altitudes of more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) since December. The previous three exploded during or shortly after touchdown.

“It’s another exciting test, as we say,” said SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker, concluding the webcast.

SpaceX plans to use Starship to send astronauts and cargo to the Moon and eventually to Mars. Musk said earlier this month that SpaceX would land Starship on Mars “well before 2030.” But he said, “The really difficult threshold is to make the Mars-based alpha self-sustaining.”

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The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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