SpaceX’s second test flight of its Starship rocket was cut short early Saturday after the spacecraft exploded, but the company noted some major improvements over its first attempt last April.
According to The Wall Street Journal, SpaceX lost contact with the spacecraft about 15 minutes after launch from its spaceport, near Brownsville, Texas, around 8 a.m. ET.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, SpaceX explained that “the booster experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly shortly after stage separation while Starship’s engines fired for several minutes on its way to space.”
The company said Saturday’s test flight showed advancements for the rocket intended for deep-space missions. Despite the explosion, Starship significantly improved its flight distance in comparison to its initial flight test back in April where separation of the booster rocket and the spacecraft on top of it never occurred.
“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 multiplanetary,” SpaceX said.
The FAA confirmed no injuries or property damage resulted from the flight and the agency will participate in an investigation to determine when SpaceX can proceed with another launch, according to the Journal.