What happened this time?
Previous launch attempts on Friday and Monday were ditched - the first due to technical issues, the second as a result of an absent Federal Aviation Administration inspector.
Starship finally blasted off from SpaceX’s south Texas facility on Tuesday morning local time.
A camera on the rocket froze not quite six minutes into the test flight, while video footage showed debris raining down and explosions could be heard.
Poor weather conditions made it unclear initially what had happened to the prototype.
How has Musk responded?
Confirming the failed flight on Twitter, Musk wrote “at least the crater is in the right place!”
The South-African born businessman also pointed to possible problems that caused the rocket to fail.
Looks like engine 2 had issues on ascent & didn’t reach operating chamber pressure during landing burn, but, in theory, it wasn’t needed.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
Something significant happened shortly after landing burn start. Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.
He’s named the launch and landing area at the southeastern tip of Texas, near the Mexico border, Starbase.
SpaceX plans to use Starship to send astronauts and cargo to the moon and, ultimately, to Mars.
What will the final mission look like?
Musk said earlier this month the first Starships would land on Mars “well before 2030.”
The company wants to combine the Starship spaceship with a Super Heavy rocket, creating a fully reusable system.
This final version will stand 394 feet (120 meters) tall and will be able to carry 100 metric tons into Earth orbit; it has been described as the most powerful launch vehicle ever developed.