Watch The Wild SpaceX Starship Explosion
The SpaceX Starship did everything it was supposed to do, right up until the very last moment. Then - B O O M!
What a boom it was. Nothing left but little bits and pieces to sift through.
The rocket is designed to take off and deliver its payload into space then come back down somewhat like a glider. At the last moment, it was supposed to turn upright again and land softly, ready to be refueled and launched again.
During this test the rocket was late taking off, but, when it did, liftoff was perfect. It climbed high, then one of its three engines was shut off and the rocket slowed, then stopped for a moment, hovering in the air.
The rocket then tipped to one side just a bit, as it was supposed to, and built up momentum. Once it had enough speed it tilted slightly nose down and took its glider configuration.
Once near the pad, the rocket went nose up, just as it was supposed to. But as it got closer to the ground it was easy to see that Starship was going too fast. It landed, more like a hit, with a massive explosion.
Considering all that went right SpaceX is calling the mission a success. They just have to make some adjustments at the final moment. That might mean making the Starship turn upright at a higher altitude so it has more time to slow down. Maybe some adjustments need to be made to the rockets themselves.
Despite the mishap, SpaceX is making the kind of progress we have not seen in decades. They have learned something new and will adjust for it and move on.