SpaceX Starship Prototype Crashes on Landing Attempt

SpaceX prototype crashes after launching under a dense fog.
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The SpaceX prototype of its Starship SN11, which is being designed for an eventual trip to Mars, crashed during a landing attempt Tuesday.

The prototype spacecraft launched from SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas, under a dense cover of fog, according to U.K. newspaper Express, flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet.

Roughly two minutes into the flight, the rocket killed its first engine and coasted to its altitude on just two Raptors.

About three-and-a-half minutes in, SN11 killed its third engine and the rocket carried on with just one Raptor.

At the highest point, the 164 foot-tall spacecraft tipped over by 90 degrees and dropped to the ground with its belly-facing down.

SN11 then quickly plummeted and did not fire its engines until just before hitting the ground.

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"At least the crater is in the right place! 'SpaceX founder Elon Musk, tweeted. Musk is also founder and CEO of Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report.

"Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed," Musk tweeted. "Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today."

SpaceX principal integration engineer, John Insprucker, noted that the thick fog in the area prevented the company from showing camera views beyond those that were on the rocket itself, CNBC reported.

The flight was postponed Monday due to “issues with the Federal Aviation Administration,” the Independent reported.

The test flight already had been delayed from Friday due to technical issues with the Starship SN11. Overall, the test entails a “10km launch and landing,” the Independent said.

SpaceX has seen several challenges in testing its Starship prototypes ahead of an ultimate launch and trip to Mars.

The SN8 and SN9 tests exploded while attempting to land, while the SN10 successfully touched down, but exploded about eight minutes later.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maewa has already scheduled to be among the first to take a commercial flight around the moon in the Starship in 2023, along with eight members of the public.

As for Tesla, Musk warned Tuesday that a shortage in battery cell supplies could hamper his company's ability to scale-up production of the Tesla semi truck.

Musk tweeted that while demand for the trucks is "no problem ... but near-term cell supply makes it hard to scale Semi," adding that "this limitation will be less onerous next year."