After three failed attempts, SpaceX’s new Starship missile crashed again on Tuesday during a test, company founder Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter.
“Something big has happened,” he wrote on Twitter. “We should know what it was like once we look at the pieces later today,” Musk joked, adding jokingly, “At least the hole is in the right place!”
The SN11 missile, launched from southern Texas at around 9 a.m. KST, began its 10-km ascent, as it encountered problems transmitting the video.
While it’s coming off, the video is interrupted.
“We lost the clock at T plus 5 minutes 49 seconds,” SpaceX commentator John Innsbrucker said, referring to the time since takeoff.
“It looks like we have another exciting test of the 11th spacecraft,” Jaffe added.
The SN11 is the eleventh prototype of the Starship missile, which SpaceX hopes to someday be able to send it to the moon, Mars and elsewhere, with people on board.
This was the fourth form to take off and attempt to return to the ground for a smooth vertical landing.
SN8 and SN9 were launched in December and January respectively, but crashed and exploded, while SN10 on March 3 managed to land, but also exploded a few minutes later.
Despite these failures, according to experts, SpaceX is gathering valuable data that allows it to accelerate the development of its space program.
Ultimately, SpaceX plans to combine their Starship spacecraft with its Super Heavy rocket, to create a completely reusable vehicle.
The final version of the missile will rise to a height of 120 meters and be able to carry a charge of 100 tons in Earth orbit, giving it the title of the most powerful launch vehicle ever.