SpaceX SN8: Photos show an epic launch ... and fiery end

On December 9, SpaceX successfully launched the latest prototype of the massive Starship, the fully reusable rocket that Elon Musk hopes to send -- with humans -- to Mars.

SpaceX webcast

The ship exploded as it was landing, after a flight that lasted six minutes, forty-two seconds. However, the test flight still gave SpaceX valuable data.

Here are 5 pictures of SN8's test flight...before its fiery demise.

The Starship prototype lifted off at 5:45 p.m. Eastern on December 10.

The 165-foot-tall spacecraft soared to a height of 14,000 feet.

Before it landed, Starship performed a belly-flop maneuver, which will help it slow down in Mars's atmosphere.

Read more SpaceX coverage here.

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