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Starship prototypes in Texas. Photo: SpaceX

A prototype of a next-generation SpaceX rocket took to the skies above Texas today for a test flight that ended in a successful landing for the rocket before it later exploded on the pad.

Why it matters: SpaceX hopes to one day use its Starship to send people and cargo to places like Mars. These tests are key to proving out the tech needed for those future missions.

Details: The Starship, called SN10, made it to about 10 kilometers in altitude before starting its descent back to Earth.

  • SN10 then managed to land upright on the pad, something that SN8 and SN9 were not able to accomplish during their test flights.
  • "Third time's the charm," SpaceX engineer and webcast commentator John Insprucker said during the broadcast of the launch.
  • While the landing was seemingly successful, the rocket then exploded after touching down. You can watch a replay of the explosion here at about 14.5 minutes after launch.

Go deeper: Watch a replay of the launch.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Mar 3, 2021 - Science

The search is on for people to launch on a mission around the Moon

Photo: NASA

A Japanese billionaire is searching for eight people to join him on a trip around the Moon, and anyone can enter for their chance to win a seat.

Why it matters: If successful, this mission would mark the first time civilians — not professional astronauts — fly beyond Earth's orbit.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.

Updated 45 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."