Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday launched and placed its ‘Starship’ into space before suffering a setback as the spacecraft experienced “rapid unplanned disassembly” around 8 minutes into the flight.
The booster, which was supposed to land in the Gulf of Mexico, also exploded seconds after separating from the space vehicle.
The nearly 400-foot-tall (122 metres) vehicle comprises two elements, both of which are designed to be fully and rapidly reusable — a first-stage booster called Super Heavy and 165-foot-tall (50 metres) upper stage known as Starship.
Saturday’s launch comes after the first attempt to fly the spaceship in its fully-stacked configuration back in April ended in a spectacular explosion over the Gulf of Mexico. The two components had failed to separate during the April launch and Starship never made it to space.