The spaceship’s main module blew up shortly after taking off at 1pm UK time on Saturday.
A clip of Starship’s second test flight showed the Super Heavy booster rocket successfully separate from the main module, which would carry passengers in a real flight.
Around 30 seconds later the booster experienced a ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’ or an explosion.
The main spaceship craft continued at 24,000 kph (or 19,000 mph) before losing contact with ground control and appearing to explode 90 miles above the Earth’s surface.
Starship took off loaded with 4,500 metric tons (10million lbs) of rocket propellant
A grab showing the spaceship and its booster taking off from SpaceX’s Starbase site on the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Chica
Shock waves created as Starship broke the sound barrier during its second test flight
Starship’s goal was to fly 90 miles into the atmosphere before splashing down into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii
The clip of the second test flight showed the Super Heavy booster rocket successfully separate from the main module, which would carry passengers in a real flight
The booster then experienced what was termed an ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly – SpaceX’s term for an explosion
Starship took off from SpaceX’s Starbase site on the Gulf of Mexico near Boca Chica, Texas loaded with 4,500 metric tons (10million lbs) of rocket propellant.
Its goal was to fly 90 miles into the atmosphere before splashing down into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Hawaii, the same objective as its maiden voyage in April, which blew up four minutes after lift off.
Around two minutes and forty five seconds into the test, the booster engines cut off before disconnecting from the rest of the module.
The Super Heavy booster than rapidly fell to the earth before blowing up as it reached the atmosphere.
Had it not disassembled, the booster would have landed around eight minutes after the launch, SpaceX said.
Footage then showed the main module appearing to explode less than 10 minutes after taking off from the ground.
The main spaceship module carried on at 24,000 kph (or 19,000 mph) before it lost contact with ground control
Footage then showed the main module appearing to explode less than 10 minutes after taking off from the ground
SpaceX still hailed the second test flight as ‘incredibly successful’ and said that it had collected data that would be used to improve the next flight
Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, congratulated his team on X, formerly Twitter
Musk still hailed the test flight as a success and congratulated his team on X an hour after the explosion.
The Chairman, CEO and Chief Technical Officer of SpaceX envisions that Starship will one day reach the moon and operate return flights to Mars.
Speaking on the test’s livestream on X, SpaceX’s Kate Tice said: ‘Such an incredibly successful day, even though we did have a…rapid unscheduled disassembly of both the Super Heavy booster and the ship.
‘We got so much data and that will all help us to improve for our next flight.’
She added that everything after ‘clearing the tower’ was the ‘icing on the cake’.
But experts believe the rocket may have self destructed as a precaution due to an error with the flight.
Jonathan Amos, the BBC’s science correspondent, suggested that something was ‘clearly wrong’ with the test, and that the computer would destroy the rocket at the earliest opportunity so that it would disintegrate over the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX engineer John Insprucker commented that the second stage’s Automated Flight Termination System had been triggered very late into the burn.