SpaceX test goes horribly wrong
This is the dramatic moment Elon Musk's Starship prototype covered a launch complex in huge plumes of frosty liquid nitrogen during a test failure.
The icy chemical was being used as part of a propellant test, and is at least -197C - and often much colder.
Dramatic footage captured by the NasaSpaceflight blog shows the rocket blowing open during a test on Wednesday.
The cryogenic loading trial was part of the spaceship's propellant testing, and appeared to go very wrong.
In a statement, SpaceX said: "The purpose of today's test was to pressurise systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected.
"There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback."
The most likely candidate for the fluid is liquid nitrogen, an extremely cold form of nitrogen used to rapidly cool objects.
It's also possible that the chemical was liquid oxygen, which turns from liquid to gas at -183C.
In either case, the temperature of the fluids involved would've been very chilly.
The Starship appeared to be largely intact after the event, although the structure would've been put under immense pressure.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk revealed that his Starship spaceports will float 20 miles out to see.
And passengers will be carted to them from the mainland via underground shuttles.
Musk tweeted: "Most Starship spaceports will probably need to be ~20 miles / 30km offshore for acceptable noise levels, especially for frequent daily flights, as would occur for point to point flights on Earth."
He wrote this while replying to a fan about how far reusable space travel had come within the last decade and stated that his Falcon rocket is around 80 per cent reusable.
He said that currently the Falcon re-flight takes several days and requires boats.
Musk's Starship rockets are intended to be fully reusable.
This is an edited version of a story that originally appeared on The Sun and is republished with permission.
- with staff writers