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Explosion of SpaceX Starship SN10 model picked up by weather radar

Saturday, March 6th 2021, 10:00 am - Houston, Texas-based meteorologist Matt Lanza tweeted a radar image that appeared to show the explosion after Wednesday's six-minute flight test.

While SpaceX successfully completed a test flight of a model of its Starship SN10 rocket Wednesday, its explosion shortly after was intense enough to show up on weather radar.

Houston, Texas-based meteorologist Matt Lanza tweeted a radar image that appeared to show the explosion after Wednesday's six-minute flight test.

The blast appears to have shown up as a green-yellow spot in the bottom left corner of the radar footage, showing changes in the weather conditions of the region surrounding SpaceX’s testing facilities in Boca Chica, Texas.

Photos taken at the scene on Thursday show the aftermath of the stainless-steel rocket's destruction in the massive fireball.

THIRD EXPLOSION

Wednesday's blast was the third involving a Starship model -- with SN10's predecessors SN8 and SN9 involved in similar outcomes in test launches in December and February, respectively.

SpaceX explosion/South Padre Island Texas The SpaceX's Starship SN10 rocket prototype, which exploded just minutes after landing from a test flight Wednesday, was picked up by weather radar. Photo: South Padre Island Texas.

As a result of those prior explosions, SpaceX had to acquire permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch SN10 Wednesday. Safety concerns of those near the launch site prompted the agency to delay SN9's takeoff last month.

A resulting investigation was closed earlier in the week, with the FAA determining that SpaceX took adequate safety precautions, so it greenlighted the company’s SN10 launch.

Thumbnail courtesy of South Padre Island Texas.

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