SpaceX fans had been eagerly anticipating the launch of the SN11 following weeks of delays to the scheduled lift-off. At 2pm BST on March 30, the rocket finally took to the skies. While the SN11 cruised at an altitude of 10 kilometres, its rockets slowly shut down mid-flight.
Unfortunately for SpaceX, the company could not manage to get the three rockets back on until the SN11 was almost at the ground, where it landed on its side.
A huge explosion ensued, as captured by NASA Space Flight as the SN11 cameras shut down, with debris raining across the launch site.
Michael Baylor of NASASpaceflight tweeted: “Starship SN11 came down hard. Debris came flying past the @NASASpaceflight camera near the pad and even appeared to knock it a bit.”
The company would have hoped to make progress on its attempts to successfully land Starship, as the SN8, SN9 and SN10 all also exploded as they touched down.
When will the next Starship prototype launch?
The next Starship prototype to launch will be the SN15.
SpaceX had built the SN12, but parts of it have been scrapped.
The SN13 and SN14 had parts made for it, but SpaceX decided to not complete the rockets.
Instead, it will jump straight to the SN15, which SpaceX chief Elon Musk says has improved capabilities and will be the company’s best chance at landing.
READ MORE: SpaceX Starship launch: SN11 crashes in failed 10km test flight
While the SN15 will be fitted with small changes, eccentric billionaire Mr Musk said the next major review will come when the SN20 launches.
However, even he is not confident the SN20 will be a complete success, stating the later batch of Starships will take a more challenging flight.
Mr Musk added: “Next major technology rev is at SN20. Those ships will be orbit-capable with heat shield & stage separation system. Ascent success probability is high.
“However, SN20+ vehicles will probably need many flight attempts to survive Mach 25 entry heating & land intact.”