© Reuters. A bystander holds a piece of debris in Boca Chica that was blown 5 miles from where the SpaceX test rocket SN11 exploded on landing
(Reuters) – An unscrewed SpaceX Starship prototype rocket failed to land safely on Tuesday after a test launch from Boca Chica, Texas, and engineers are investigating it, SpaceX said.
“We seem to have lost all of the vehicle’s data,” SpaceX engineer John Insprucker said in a webcast video of the rocket’s flight test. “We have to find out from the team what happened.”
Fog obscured the webcast view, making it difficult to see the vehicle landing.
The spaceship was one of a series of prototypes for the heavy-lift rocket developed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private space company to carry people and 100 tons of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars.
The spacecraft SN8 and SN9 previously exploded on landing during their test runs.
“Looks like engine 2 had problems climbing and didn’t reach pressure in the operating chamber during landing, but in theory it wasn’t needed,” tweeted Musk on Tuesday after the SN11 test flight. “Something significant happened just after the landing took off. Should know what it was when we can examine the parts later today.”
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