SpaceX, the American spacecraft manufacturer, lauched Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, today.
SpaceX launched Starship in a landmark test. However, it exploded just minutes later.
Three days after an inaugural flight was scrapped due to a last-minute glitch, Starship took off from Boca Chica in southern Texas as thousands of spectators watched nearby.
But the rocket system failed to separate as planned, and exploded less than four minutes into its flight.
SpaceX said Starship experienced a “rapid, unscheduled disassembly before stage separation”.
SpaceX officials still declared the ambitious mission a success, as it marked the first time Starship and its massive booster rocket had taken to the skies.
Company boss Elon Musk congratulated the team on an “exciting test launch”.
Musk had sought to keep expectations in check beforehand, saying it had a 50% chance of reaching orbit at the first try.
But more launches are planned, and he believes there’s an 80% chance of success before the end of the year.
“Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months,” Musk tweeted after Thursday’s test.