On Wednesday, a SpaceX Starship prototype blasted off from southern Texas and after it reached an altitude of six miles, it fell back to Earth and successfully landed near the launch pad. A few minutes later, the prototype exploded.

This was the company’s first successful landing after three high-altitude Starship test flights. The rocket landed with a slight tilt and a small fire near the engine compartment, later growing into an explosion with flaming debris.

Despite the spaceship blowing up, SpaceX founder Elon Musk found the landing a successful milestone.

“SpaceX team is doing great work! One day, the true measure of success will be that Starship flights are commonplace,” Musk tweeted.

Before the explosion, SpaceX commentator John Insprucker wrapped up the launch’s web act by saying, “third time’s a charm, as the saying goes.”

“We’ve had a successful soft touchdown on the landing pad, capping a beautiful test flight of Starship 10. As a reminder, a key point of today’s flight test was to gather the data on the controlling the vehicle while reentering and we were successful in doing so,” he added.

The Starship prototype was a 160-foot second stage with a half-dozen Raptor engines capable of boosting 100 tons of payload to low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX are planning to create three different versions of the Starship. The first to carry heavy payloads to Earth’s orbit, the moon or Mars, the second to carry propellants for orbital refueling operations and the third will carry up to 100 passengers at a time to space.


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