SpaceX has launched the world’s largest rocket, Starship, along with the Super Heavy Booster, from Boca Chica, Texas. The launch appeared to be going smoothly until four minutes after liftoff, when an unknown error caused the vehicle to explode mid-air.
Despite the explosion, SpaceX considers the launch a success as the vehicle was able to clear the launch tower. The data collected from the test flight will be used to improve future Starship launches.
SpaceX confirmed the incident on Twitter, and no spectators were injured as the launch site was off-limits. The company had planned to use Starship for moon and Mars missions, and NASA had reserved a Starship for its next moonwalking team.
This was Starship’s second launch attempt, as the first on Monday was canceled due to an issue with the pressurization system on the Super Heavy booster.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk had previously stated that there was only a 50% chance of success for the first-ever orbital mission of Starship, but the company was building multiple Starship vehicles at the site.
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