SpaceX rocket fails to land safely

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An uncrewed SpaceX Starship prototype rocket has failed to land safely after a test launch from Boca Chica, Texas, and engineers are investigating, SpaceX says.

"We do appear to have lost all the data from the vehicle," SpaceX engineer John Insprucker said in a webcast video of the rocket's flight test.

"We're going to have to find out from the team what happened."

The webcast view was obscured by fog, making it difficult to see the vehicle's landing.

The Starship was one in a series of prototypes for the heavy-lift rocket being developed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk's private space company to carry humans and 100 tonnes of cargo on future missions to the moon and Mars.

Starships SN8 and SN9 previously exploded upon landing during their test runs.

"Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn't reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn't needed," Musk tweeted on Tuesday after SN11's test flight.

"Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today."