Today, SpaceX's newest rocket called Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, launched from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, at just after 14:30 BST. The launch wasn't completely successful however, as the rocket fell apart mid-flight as the first and second stages of the rocket failed to separate as planned. However, there is still lots to be learned from this launch which marks an extremely exciting step forwards for SpaceX's plans to increase launch capacity.
Starship is a designed to be a fully-reusable launch system to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond. It is a super-heavy-lift launch vehicle standing 119m tall. For reference, NASA's SLS which was used to launch the Artemis I mission late last year stood at 98m tall. Starship is designed to carry up to 100 people at once, in what SpaceX envisions to be humanity's space-faring future. It will also carry satellites and other cargo from Earth into space.
SpaceX have already completed multiple test flights of the upper stage of the rocket, which helped validate the vehicle's design, as well as multiple static fires of the Super Heavy rocket which is at the base of the system, and is comprised of 31 engines.
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, had previously warned that it may take several attempts before a fully successful flight, and this is a common theme with space launches as we also saw with the first attempt to launch Artemis I late last year, which was NASA's first mission returning to the Moon in almost half a century and ended up being postponed by a few months. Rocket science is hard!
We look forward to hearing more about the learnings that come from today's test, and look forward to the next test launch due in a few months' time.
Congrats SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months