SpaceX's latest Starship prototype landed on Wednesday for the first time after carrying out a high-altitude test flight in Texas — but exploded minutes later on its landing pad. The rocket, an early test version called SN10, demonstrated a few complex dances in mid-air before clinching a soft touch down, aiming to nail a key milestone in Elon Musk's campaign to build a fully reusable rocket system. After aborting an initial launch attempt earlier in the day, the prototype lifted off at 6:14pm ET and soared 6 miles above SpaceX's Boca Chica, Texas facilities. Unlike the last two tests with SN8 and SN9, which launched successfully but exploded on their landing attempts, SN10 stuck a lopsided landing on a slab of concrete not far from its launchpad, appearing to survive its daring landing maneuver for a few moments before being consumed in a fireball. The launch test's main objective was to demonstrate the computer-controlled movements of the rocket's four aerodynamic flaps that steer its descent before landing, SpaceX engineer and live stream host John Insprucker said during the company's broadcast. At the end of its climb to 6.2 miles, each of the the rocket's three Raptor engines gradually shut down… Read full this story
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