The Mars SpaceX Starship SN8 prototype has just had a very bad day. The initial test flight was going very well for nearly 8 minutes, but as it came in for its landing, as it would do if it was landing on Mars, the SN8 came in too hard and exploded.

Watch the successful high altitude test flight, which unfortunately culminates in a successful pancake test landing.

If SpaceX was trying to create a splash, they succeeded, but as a crewed Mars launch prototype, it still has a few wrinkles to iron out.

SpaceX Starship SN8

The SpaceX Starship SN8 is intended as a reusable manned launch vehicle, that can carry out space missions and return to Earth for reuse. Designed by SpaceX, it is part of a larger picture to get humans to Mars by the year 2024.

The module is designed to break Earth orbit, as a booster system, and then return to Earth using vertical landing rockets and technologies previously developed by SpaceX and tested in 2013–2016 using a range of Falcon 9 test vehicles.

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