SpaceX Starship prototype SN8 explodes on impact after first successful test flight

It was worth the wait. After several days of delays and a scrub with just 1.3 seconds until lift-off, SpaceX Starship prototype SN8 had its first, and last test flight today.

Originally scheduled to launch earlier this afternoon, there was yet another delay after a plane was spotted in the vicinity of the launch area. After it was cleared, SN8 successfully lifted off from the launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas at 4:40pm CST.

SN8 liftoff

After successfully reaching an altitude of about 50,000ft, the Raptor engines shut off and the Starship prototype majestically floated back to earth.

The next nearly 2 minutes as the Startship made its way back to the launch pad were uneventful, but the final 15 seconds of the flight made up for it. The Raptor engines successful reignited lifting the Starship into an upright position, but unfortunately there was not enough thrust to slow it down and complete a successful landing.

SN8 crash

According to Musk, early indications are that low fuel header tank pressure was the main reason for the unsuccessful landing. Despite the large fireball, the rest of the test was a major success for SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and the entire SpaceX team.

You can watch the entire test flight, which took about 6 minutes, below.

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