SpaceX launch: Elon Musk's Starship blows up after blast off

20230421 034531

Elon Musk's Starship rocket has blown up around four minutes after blasting off in an explosive end to its first launch.

Although the rocket stages failed to separate the launch will be considered a win for SpaceX, heralding a new age of heavy space flight.

Mr Musk previously suggested the mission risked ending in a fireball, but said the launch would go down as a success if the Starship rocket managed to get off the launch pad.

The 390ft rocket, which has been picked by NASA for its return to the lunar surface, took off shortly after 2.33pm.

Starship was supposed to blast 150 miles into the atmosphere, before cruising for around an hour and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

However, the mission ended early after the separation of the first and second stages of the rocket appeared to fail. The rocket reached a height of around 25 miles above the earth, before entering a spin and self-destructing after its "automated flight termination" system activated.

Kate Tice, a SpaceX engineering manager, said the rocket had suffered a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".

Mr Musk said the company had "learned a lot for next test launch in a few months".

The super heavy Starship rocket has been picked by the US space agency for its 2025 Artemis III Moon mission, the first time mankind will return to the Moon's surface since the Apollo programme ended in 1972.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024