Elon Musk’s giant SpaceX rocket blows up after launch
paceX’s new rocket, the biggest and most powerful ever built, blasted off on Thursday on its first test flight, thundering into the South Texas sky in an attempt to orbit the world.
Elon Musk’s company launched the nearly 400-foot (120-metre) Starship rocket from the southern tip of Texas, near the Mexican border.
Although the rocket successfully launched and made it into the air, the booster rocket, Super Heavy, appeared to have failed to separate.
This saw the launch end in an explosion high in the atmosphere.
SpaceX said Starship experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation”.
The plan called for the booster to peel away and plummet into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after liftoff, with the spacecraft hurtling ever higher toward the east in a bid to circle the world, before crashing into the Pacific near Hawaii.
No people or satellites were aboard for this debut launch.
Throngs of spectators watched from several miles away from the Boca Chica Beach launch site, which was off-limits.
The company plans to use Starship to send people and cargo to the moon and, eventually, Mars. NASA has reserved a Starship for its next moonwalking team, and rich tourists are already booking lunar flybys.
It was the second launch attempt. Monday’s try was scrapped by a frozen booster valve.