Credit: Tim Peake via Twitter

WATCH: Elon Musk’s Starship Rocket blows up three minutes after blast off

Elon Musk’s Starship rocket has blown up approximately three minutes after blasting off, bringing to an end its hotly anticipated first launch attempt.

The billionaire’s SpaceX company attempted to launch the enormous new rocket on Thursday after a failed attempt on Monday, with millions tuning in to today’s live coverage. Hailed as the world’s biggest rocket launch to date, the spacecraft has been tipped to carry humans to Mars.

However, SpaceX engineering manager Kate Tice said that the rocket suffered a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” just moments after blasting off shortly after 2.33pm today. The 390 ft rocket, which has been picked by US space agency NASA for its 2025 return to the lunar surface, has already suffered a setback late on Monday.

Just three minutes in, the booster rocket, Super Heavy, appeared to have failed to separate, causing an explosion high in the atmosphere:


A time window of 62-minutes had been set aside to get Starship up and off Earth today, starting at 08.28am local time (14:28 BST). If it were to be successful, the rocket system would have been used to take people and cargo into orbit, to the Moon, and even to Mars, SpaceX had said.

Prior to today’s launch, Musk had expressed his expectations for the test flight, which took place at Boca Chica on the US-Mexico border. Mr Musk said that simply getting the rocket off the ground and not destroying the launch pad infrastructure would have represented “a win”.

Before news of the explosion of the rocket surfaced, euphoric scenes were shared across social media – as NASA and Musk shared live footage of the historic launch.

Taking to social media after the launch came crashing down, Musk’s SpaceX vowed to continue to review data and “work toward our next flight test”.

“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,” the US spacecraft manufacturer, launcher and satellite communications corporation said on social media.

The company, which was founded back in 2002 by Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs – to enable the colonization of Mars – congratulated the entire SpaceX team “on an exciting first integrated flight test of Starship!”

Meanwhile, Musk, sharing images of the rocket leaving the launch pad, promised another test in a few months.

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