As Elon Musk and SpaceX looks to travel to Mars, and bring in a slew of technological developments, there is just one problem. Their rockets keep exploding. On Wednesday, the Starship SN10 landed successfully, and then, even as people heaved a sigh of relief and declared it a success, promptly burst into flames.
Now to be fair, not all SpaceX rockets are spontaneously combusting. But SpaceX's futuristic Starship has had a rocky start. Two previous test flights crash-landed in fireballs, and despite what SpaceX commentator John Insprucker declared during the livecast, third time is apparently not the charm.
The full-scale prototype of Elon Musk's envisioned Mars ship aced its high-altitude flight test. It descended horizontally over the Gulf of Mexico and then flipped upright just in time to land. About six minutes after landing, however, it exploded, being tossed in the air, before slamming down into the ground in flames.
"As if the flight test was not exciting enough, SN10 experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after landing," the SpaceX website update joked.
While the explosion may be a concern, it does not mean that the flight was unsuccessful. After all, SN10 had managed to execute all the maneuvers required - from liftoff to touchdown. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk opted to look on the brighter side of things, noting that this craft had at least landed while intact.
"Starship SN10 landed in one piece!" he tweeted in response to the SpaceX live feed.
And when one user noted that it had taken only three attempts to execute what had once been considered an impossible feat, Musk lauded the work of the SpaceX team. "One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace," he opined.
"RIP SN10, honorable discharge," he mourned.