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Elon Musk congratulates SpaceX team moments after Starship’s explosion


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk touted his company’s latest test launch of its Starship rocket despite the fact that it blew up in midair just minutes after takeoff. 

The 400-foot-tall Starship took off at 9:28 a.m. Thursday in Boca Chica, Texas, but the rocket failed to separate from its booster and began spinning before exploding 18 miles above the Earth. 

“Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship!,” Musk tweeted following the explosion. “Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.” 


Elon Musk reacts to the test flight explosion on Thursday.

SpaceX tweeted that during the flight test, “Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation,” but did not elaborate further. 

The company said its teams would review the data from this first integrated flight test for its next launch. 

“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary,” the company tweeted.


The Starship takes off during the "exciting test."
The Starship takes off during the “exciting test launch.”
SpaceX

The failure comes more than a month after Musk warned that there was only a 50% chance of the rocket making it in one piece.  

Musk predicted that even if the rocket were to fail as it did, it “won’t be boring,” referencing the spectacle of the exploding spacecraft. 

The test launches for the Starship rockets began two years ago, with three ships previously exploding in midair and a fourth sticking the landing before it blew up.


The moment Musk's Starship explodes.
The moment Musk’s Starship explodes is seen in a still image.
SpaceX

A fifth attempt proved successful after a Starship prototype flew 33,000 feet and was able to land upright and gently on its landing pad.

Starship is part of SpaceX’s line of vessels poised to be the world’s first fully reusable orbital rockets, with both the ship and its 230-foot-tall booster designed to land themselves back on Earth after the flight.

NASA is pinning its hopes on a successful Starship voyage, as the agency plans to use the craft to ferry astronauts to the lunar surface in 2025.





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