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SpaceX's prototype for its next heavy-lift rocket, Starship, exploded on Friday (30 May) as it underwent ground tests in south Texas. The prototype is unrelated to the Falcon 9 rocket which, weather permitting, will take two astronauts to the International Space Station tonight.
Elon Musk's space company hoped to fly Starship for the first time, but the competitive schedule has been pushed back thanks to the explosion, which took place at the company's Boca Chica test site.
The Starship rocket is designed to carry humans and 100 tonnes of cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond.
As seen on a livestream on the Nasa Spaceflight website, the vehicle exploded into a huge fireball - not much was left of it afterward.
There was no immediate indication of any injuries in the explosion. LADbible has contacted SpaceX for a comment.
Thankfully this has no bearing on tonight's Falcon 9 launch. It's the second time the company will attempt the mission, having called it off last time due to bad weather.
Efforts to get the rocket off the ground in a safe manner were hampered on Wednesday (27 May). The launch was the first attempt to get astronauts into space on US soil since 2011.
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were the two Americans selected for the historic launch and are two of NASA's most experienced astronauts.
The SpaceX and NASA team will have to wait until the International Space Station is back in the right orbital position to launch the rocket. They will try again tonight and if that is aborted then they will try a third time on Sunday.
In addition to the astronauts, the rocket, which has been dubbed the Dragon, will be carrying two items.
One is a series of indestructible custom art pieces by a Los Angeles artist that celebrate humanity. They're made from gold, brass and aluminium.
The second is a mosaic image of Earth, made from more than 100,000 photos of 2020 graduates from around the world.
But, of course, conspiracy theorists have had their say, and they thing that the aborted SpaceX and NASA launch didn't go ahead because it was 'fake'. Well, it makes a change from them saying the moon landing didn't happen, I suppose.
Today's launch was scrubbed due to weather. There were no issues with the @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft. The next launch attempt is Saturday, May 30 at 3:22 p.m. ET. #LaunchAmerica More photos from today: https://t.co/8due5jBg5Y pic.twitter.com/wvvd3WcnWz
- NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) May 27, 2020
On Twitter, NASA wrote: "Weather is the one thing that we actually cannot control on our missions so unfortunately, it did cause us to scrub today.
"The vehicles are healthy. @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug were ready to go and will be ready on our next launch attempt Saturday."
However, some Twitter users have donned their tin-foil hats to claim it wasn't scrapped due to the weather, but because it was all faked.
One person wrote: "I watched the live feed for five hours and they didn't launch. Smh. Clearly, they were trying to find a way to fake it just like they did the moon landing! Be better NASA."
Another asked: "No front facing camera on the rocket again? And more CGI instead of video footage?"
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