SpaceX's prototype blows up!

To realize its ambitious plans for sending up to 100 passengers to the Moon and Mars inside a massive Starship spacecraft, SpaceX is racing through prototypes.

During its fifth static fire today, the fourth Starship prototype, called SN4, erupted in a gigantic fireball around 2:50 pm Eastern time on Friday. Thanks to a live stream, courtesy of NASASpaceflight, you can watch the structure erupt into flames at SpaceX’s Boca Chica testing facility

Losing SN4 is a setback for the Elon Musk-led space company, but not an insurmountable one.

“SpaceX got a lot further with SN4 than previous vehicles, and SN5 seems about ready to go for testing,” senior space editor at Ars Technica Eric Berger wrote in a tweet. “They also have begun working on a second launch stand in Boca Chica.”

“So this is a setback, and a dramatic one,” Berger added. “But it’s a process.”

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