Watch SpaceX Starship SN9's high-altitude flight test end in a dramatic explosion

After weeks of build up, SpaceX finally held its 10km test flight of Starship SN9 today. The previous test flight, SN8, went mostly well up until the very end, when Starship came in a little too hot during its landing run and hit the ground in a fiery explosion. Though we were hoping for a different outcome today, history has indeed repeated itself – at least somewhat.

While Starship SN9 successfully lifted off from Boca Chica and gave us a good show today, once again the test failed to stick the landing. All of the parts of the test flight leading up to SN9's crash landing seemed to go off without a hitch – liftoff went smoothly, as did the sequential shutdown of Starship's three Raptor engines. The vertical-to-horizontal flip went well too, but when it came time to flip around Starship to land, the test flight once again ended in disaster.

You can watch a replay of the launch in the video you see embedded above. All in all, it was a short stream that only lasted a grand total of 13 minutes and 42 seconds, so we didn't get the hours-long livestream we sometimes get in the lead up to SpaceX launches.

While most of the test flight went well, it seems that SN9 flipped too far to one side during its landing rotation. This caused the ship to come in for landing at an angle rather that in a vertical position, which unsurprisingly led to another explosive crash. The good news is that there was no one aboard this test flight, and those who like explosions will be pleased to hear that this one was a little more intense than the explosion that claimed SN8.

We're not sure what's next for Starship, but we're assuming that it's onto test flight SN10 (which is likely the Starship that can be seen standing next to SN9 at the start of the livestream) to see if SpaceX can work out those landing issues. Every other aspect of these high-altitude tests is apparently going well, so all SpaceX needs to do is correct its landing issues and it'll likely have a successful high-altitude test on its hands. We'll let you know when the company shares more, so stay tuned.