SpaceX rocket explodes into massive fireball in failed landing

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A SpaceX rocket has exploded during an attempted landing as it carried out a test flight.

The SN9 craft was reduced to a burning wreck in Boca Chica, South Texas.

It reached an altitude of of 6.2 miles (10km) before falling back down to Earth.

According to NASASpaceFlight, one of the aircraft's Raptor engines struggled to ignite just before the landing.

SpaceX principal integration engineer John Insprucker said: “We had, again, another great flight up … we’ve just got to work on that landing a little bit.”

He added: “So all told, another great [flight] and a reminder, this is a test flight, the second time we’ve launched starship in this configuration.

“We’ve got a lot of good data, and [achieved] the primary objective to demonstrate control of the vehicle and the subsonic reentry.”

Another of the company’s prototype rockets, the SN8, was destroyed in a similar explosion in December.

The company’s CEO Elon Musk wants to fly humans and cargo to Mars as part of the Starship programme.

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