SpaceX launched the biggest rocket in history on Thursday morning, but what at first appeared to be a successful takeoff went awry just minutes later. The nearly 400-foot tall Starship, which has also been lauded as the most powerful ticket to ever be built, blasted off from the company’s base in Boca Chica, Texas, embarking on a flight expected to last an hour and a half.
Approximately four minutes into its launch, the rocket exploded over the Gulf of Mexico in what hosts narrating SpaceX’s live stream of the event called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” An exact reason for the explosion was not provided.
The rocket was initially supposed to be launched on Monday, however, it was postponed shortly before takeoff due to a frozen pressurization valve in the rocket’s booster.
“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,” SpaceX said in a statement.
CEO Elon Musk, meanwhile, remains optimistic about the future of the Starship, which is designed to carry both passengers and cargo to both the Moon and Mars.
“Congrats SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months,” Musk tweeted.
Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship!
Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months. pic.twitter.com/gswdFut1dK
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023