SpaceX Mars Rocket Lands Upright, But Later Explodes

Artist’s rendering of a SpaceX Starship rocket on the Moon. Image credit: SpaceX

Learning more…another SpaceX rocket bites the dust, after it successfully lands upright but then explodes minutes later on the pad

The prototype rocket that SpaceX hopes will carry mankind to Mars, has suffered another malfunction.

The SpaceX rocket prototype, known as SN10, flew over South Texas during test flight on Wednesday before successfully landing upright near its launch site.

However, roughly three minutes after landing, YouTube videos showed the rocket exploding on its landing pad.

SpaceX's Starship prototype. Image credit: SpaceX
SpaceX’s Starship prototype. Image credit: SpaceX

Rocket explosion

Last month another Starship rocket prototype exploded on impact during an attempted landing, just like a similar explosion in December.

SpaceX had first revealed MK1 of the giant stainless-steel space vehicle to the world back in September 2019.

The Starship is designed to ferry dozens of passengers to the Moon and Mars, in line with a long-term NASA project called Artemis.

Indeed, Elon Musk has already signed up his first commercial passenger, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who wants to fly around the Moon and back with a group of artists.

The rocket prototypes are built of stainless steel, and will be able to carry both cargo and as many as a 100 people at a time on missions to the moon and Mars.

While SpaceX’s fleet of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are designed to be partially reusable, Musk’s goal is to make Starship fully reusable.

Indeed, his vision is of a rocket that is more akin to a commercial airplane, with short turnaround times between flights where the only major cost is fuel.