Watch: SpaceX launches Starship rocket for 3rd time


SpaceX launched the Starship Falcon 9 from its Starbase facility in southern Texas, on Thursday morning — the company’s latest attempt of a historic orbital test flight.

The rocket took off from its launchpad in Boca Chica at about 9:25 a.m. ET, clearing several critical hurdles along its hourlong journey.

“Starship reached orbital velocity!” SpaceX founder Elon Musk wrote on X at 9:40 a.m. ET. “Congratulations @SpaceX team!!”

The rocket, however, did not survive reentry. SpaceX said it lost communication as it was reentering the Earth’s atmosphere above the Indian Ocean.

The SpaceX Starship spacecraft lifts off from its launch pad in Texas on Thursday.The SpaceX Starship spacecraft lifts off from its launch pad in Texas on Thursday.

The SpaceX Starship spacecraft lifts off from its launch pad in Boca Chica, Texas, on Thursday. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Starship is the world’s biggest rocket, measuring 30 feet wide and standing nearly 400 feet tall — or about 90 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. It weighs more than 11 million pounds when fueled.

SpaceX designed the rocket with the goal of bringing people to Mars and the moon.

“While it’s not happening in a lab or on a test stand, this is absolutely a test,” SpaceX said in a post on X. “What we’re doing today will provide invaluable data to continue rapid development of Starship.”

People spend time on the beach in Texas near the Starship rocket a day before its scheduled launch.People spend time on the beach in Texas near the Starship rocket a day before its scheduled launch.

People spend time on the beach in Brownsville, Texas, near the Starship rocket Wednesday, a day before its scheduled launch. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

This was the third launch attempt for SpaceX’s Starship, following two previous unsuccessful attempts. The last one — in November — ended in an explosion over the Gulf of Mexico just minutes into its test flight.

The rocket reached space following liftoff before communication suddenly was lost, SpaceX officials said, later confirming it had exploded over the Gulf.

“At company headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., employees cheered as Starship soared at daybreak,” the Associated Press reported at the time. “The room grew quiet once it was clear that the spaceship had been destroyed.”





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