Elon Musk-founded Aerospace company, SpaceX today test-launched its Starship rocket for the first time – the biggest and most powerful rocket in history – specifically designed to carry cargo and people beyond Earth to Mars.
The rocket reached a peak speed of over 2,000 km/hr at a peak altitude of 39 km, and about four minutes into the flight, the rocket suffered a fiery explosion and fell short of reaching its destination. The Mars-inbound Starship which was supposed to lift up into space had experienced a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” during ascent according to the company. No crew were on board.
The company had on Monday postponed the first attempt at getting this launch off the ground after a “pressurisation issue”. The company’s teams since worked to resolve a number of unidentified issues to make a second attempt possible today, Thursday.
Although the launch suffered a mishap, the liftoff still marks a significant milestone for SpaceX which has repeatedly stressed the experimental nature of the launch and added that any result that saw Starship get off the launchpad would be a success.
"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 Thursday.
Musk congratulated the SpaceX team in a tweet and hinted that the next test launch would come in a few months.