The test had started well, before ending with a crash. A prototype of the future giant Starship rocket, developed by the company SpaceX, took off during an altitude test flight from the Texas coast on Wednesday, December 9. But the landing was more than hard: the rocket crashed into a large ball of fire.
“Great test. Congratulations to the Starship team!”, nevertheless reacted SpaceX, in front of the image of the pile of ash that has become the large metal cylinder, called to become SpaceX’s rocket of choice to go one day to Mars. “Mars, here we are!” also tweeted Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX.
The latter explained that the arrival speed at landing was too great, but welcomed the successful stages: the ascent, the change of position in altitude, and the precision of the trajectory to the point of landing. “We have all the data we need! Congratulations to the SpaceX team yeah!”, wrote the boss of the American company.
Wednesday’s prototype took off correctly, gradually ascending in altitude and on a seemingly straight line. Then one of the three engines went out, before a second. After 4 minutes and 45 seconds of flight, the third extinguished and the rocket began to return to the ground, assuming the expected prone position. A few seconds before landing, the engines were restarted in order to put her upright, in the landing position, and to slow her fall. But the speed was too great and the contact too brutal. The device exploded on the ground.