SpaceX’s latest prototype spacecraft COLLAPSES on the launch pad

SpaceX isn’t wasting time getting the next Starship prototype ready for its first test flight, but the mission is already off to a rocky start.

Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) made its way to the launch pad at the Boca Chia test facility, towering over the site, but began to tilt and eventually collapsed.

Reports say the bracket holding the craft gave way, but the vehicle’s assembly building was in place and caught the massive rocket as it crashed to the ground.

The mishap comes just days after SpaceX’s prototype SN8 completed its first high-altitude flight of 41,000 feet that ended up exploding once it returned to the ground.

SpaceX isn’t wasting time preparing the next Starship prototype for its first test flight, but the mission is already off to a rocky start. Its SN9 prototype was tilted on the launch pad.

Even though SN8 was destroyed, CEO Elon Musk considers it a success because it reached its target altitude and collected a large amount of data along the way, paving the way for SN9 to make its own jump.

The new prototype is the second to feature wingtips and nose cone, and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors.

SpaceX announced that it would soon move SN9 to the launch pad shortly after SN8 took off and, based on road closures in Boca Chica, it could take off sometime next week.

However, it is unclear if the latest prototype was damaged when it fell on Friday.

Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) made its way to the launch pad at the Boca Chia test facility, towering over the site, but began to tilt and eventually collapsed.

Starship Serial Number 9 (SN9) made its way to the launch pad at the Boca Chia test facility, towering over the site, but began to tilt and eventually collapsed.

The mishap comes just three days after SpaceX's prototype SN8 completed its first 41,000-foot high-altitude flight that ended up exploding once it returned to the ground.

The mishap comes just three days after SpaceX’s prototype SN8 completed its first 41,000-foot high-altitude flight that ended up exploding once it returned to the ground.

In addition, with production acceleration and increased fidelity, SpaceX has built 10 Starship prototypes. S

“N9 is almost ready to move to the platform, which now has two active mounts for rapid development testing,” the firm said following the launch of SN8.

SN9, according to Musk, was developed in parallel to SN8 and follows the theme of ‘building successive generations of prototypes’ quickly so they can quickly test and iterate.

“The SN8 flight test is an exciting next step in the development of a fully reusable transportation system capable of taking both crew and cargo to orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond,” SpaceX wrote.

The world watched as the 160-foot-tall SN8 lifted off the launch pad for its six-minute, 40-second flight.

The large-scale stainless steel model is 50 meters (160 feet) high and 9 meters (30 feet) in diameter.

The new prototype is the second to feature wingtips and nose cone, and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors.

The new prototype is the second to feature wingtips and nose cone, and appears to have the same body design as its predecessors.

Pictured is a view over SpaceX's launch pad in Texas before its latest prototype went down on Friday morning.  The hay bay (pictured) caught the rocket when the support collapsed

Pictured is a view over SpaceX’s launch pad in Texas before its latest prototype went down on Friday morning. The hay bay (pictured) caught the rocket when the stand collapsed

SpaceX announced that it would soon move SN9 to the launch pad shortly after SN8 took off, and based on road closures in Boca Chica, it could take off sometime next week.  However, it is unclear if the latest prototype was damaged when it fell on Friday.

SpaceX announced that it would soon move SN9 to the launch pad shortly after SN8 took off and, based on road closures in Boca Chica, it could take off sometime next week. However, it is unclear if the latest prototype was damaged when it fell on Friday.

It rose over the Gulf of Mexico and after about five minutes, it turned sideways as planned and descended in free fall toward the southeastern tip of Texas near the Mexican border.

The lateral roll, dubbed the ‘belly drop’ maneuver by Musk, was designed to mimic the technique Starship will use when returning through Earth’s atmosphere from space: presenting the ‘belly’ as it enters the atmosphere reduces the rate of descent as it gets closer to the ground.

This ‘jump’ is a landmark event for SpaceX, as previous prototypes only reached 500 feet in the air.

But it also turned out to be the most destructive.

Upon landing, the ship was engulfed in flames and broke apart, parts scattered.

Musk quickly took to Twitter after the blast to announce the success and thank his team.

“Successful climb, switch to head tanks, and precise flap control to the landing point!”

‘The fuelhead tank pressure was low during the landing burn, causing the landing speed to be high and RUD, but we got all the data we needed! Congratulations to the SpaceX team, yes !!

The CEO later thanked South Texas for their support in a separate tweet, followed by another that read ‘Mars, here we go!’

Even though SN8 was destroyed, CEO Elon Musk called it a success because it reached its target altitude and collected a large amount of data along the way, paving the way for SN9 to take its own jump.

Even though SN8 was destroyed, CEO Elon Musk called it a success because it reached its target altitude and collected a large amount of data along the way, paving the way for SN9 to take its own jump.

The Starship two-stage-to-orbit heavy lift vehicle has been in development since 2012 and is designed to reduce launch cost by being more reusable.

Although many may see SN8 as a glitch, this is not the first prototype that SpaceX has exploited for experimental purposes, or even by sheer accident.

The company has lost a total of four prototypes during its trip and all have caught fire at the Texas test site.

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