Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
SpaceX’s Starship lifted off the pad in South Texas on Thursday morning and cleared the launchpad, its first milestone, but then began tumbling as it was preparing for stage separation and the vehicle came apart some four minutes into flight.
“Obviously this does not appear to be a normal situation,” SpaceX’s John Insprucker said during the broadcast.
SpaceX’s Kate Tice said it was unclear what caused the rocket to come apart. She said that “teams will continue to review the data and work toward our next flight test.”
Still, since it was a test, SpaceX hailed the flight as a success because it would provide the company new information about how the vehicle performs in real life that will help them on future flights. And it did not damage the launchpad, a risk SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had said was his greatest worry.
There were no people on board.
It is not clear when the company might try to fly again. On Twitter, Elon Musk said the company “learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.”
We can’t wait to welcome you Sept. 21-23 to the 2023 Texas Tribune Festival, our multiday celebration of big, bold ideas about politics, public policy and the day’s news — all taking place just steps away from the Texas Capitol. When tickets go on sale in May, Tribune members will save big. Donate to join or renew today.