A SpaceX prototype has exploded after completing a short hop test. It was the third high-altitude experimental flight for the Starship program.
A prototype of a SpaceX rocket one day destined for Mars exploded in a massive fireball on Thursday after a possible methane leak.
The prototype, SN10, blew up on the landing pad about three minutes after completing a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) altitude hop test in Texas.
It is the third such incident after two previous prototypes met a similar fate in December and February.
SpaceX commentator, John Insprucker, had called the touchdown before the explosion a "third time" charm.
The company's founder, Elon Musk, tweeted that the starship landed in one piece, without mentioning the blast.
Musk plans to use the starships to send people to the moon and Mars. On Wednesday, Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, launched a search for eight people who would join him on a trip around the moon in a SpaceX starship.
The weeklong voyage is scheduled for 2023. When asked about the risk associated with space travel, Maezawa said, "Elon Musk says there is no problem and I believe him."
am/aw (AP, Reuters)