THE most powerful rocket ever built was successfully test launched today.
Elon Musk, the founder of the company behind the rocket, SpaceX, had previously given the launch a 50/50 chance of success.
Musk only wanted the rocket to clear the pad – which it did successfully.
The debut orbital launch of the $3billion next-generation spacecraft took place at the SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
Over one million people tuned into SpaceX’s livestream of the test launch.
The 33-engine, nearly 400-feet tall, rocket is the eccentric billionaire’s biggest feat yet.
Starship has been designed to be the vehicle that makes humans interplanetary.
It is expected to take humans to the Moon through Nasa’s Artemis mission in 2025, and eventually to Mars sometime in the 2030s.
The mega-rocket is designed to transport up to 100 people from Earth to the Moon and Mars, so will eventually have its interior kitted out to support humans on months-long space voyages.
The team didn’t bother decking out the interior as it would be on a Moon or Mars mission, as this edition of Starship was never intended to survive.
SpaceX and the US’ aerospace regulator the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) agreed on a splash down in the Mexican Gulf ocean with no recovery.
All boaters were banned from the waters below prior to the launch, to make room for the rocket’s so-called ‘belly flop’ into the sea.
Today’s launch follows a failed attempt on Monday, which was due to a pressurisation issue, according to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the company behind the Starship mega-rocket.
When SpaceX was scheduled to launch on Monday, the coastguard was forced to remove a boat from the water.
It is possible they would have received a hefty fine, or even had their boating licence revoked.
All rocket launches in the US are bound by environmental standards set by the FAA, which had previously stood in the way of the 33-engine rocket’s flight approval.
Instead of being recovered like it would be in future missions, Starship has joined its predecessors at the bottom of the pacific, where old rocket parts now act as artificial coral reefs for marine life.
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