SpaceX's giant new rocket launches on second test flight from Texas

SpaceX’s giant new rocket has blasted off on a second test flight from South Texas

ByMARCIA DUNN AP aerospace writer

November 18, 2023, 6:45 AM

This image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a closeup view of SpaceX Starship stacked atop of the Super Heavy booster at the launch site, Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Boca Chica, Texas. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)

The Associated Press

SpaceX’s giant new rocket blasted off from South Texas on a test flight Saturday, seven months after the first try ended in an explosion.

The 397-foot (121-meter) Starship rocket thundered into the sky and arced out over the Gulf of Mexico. The goal was to separate the spaceship from its booster and send it into space.

SpaceX aimed for an altitude of 150 miles (240 kilometers), just high enough to send the bullet-shaped spacecraft around the globe before ditching into the Pacific near Hawaii about 1 1/2 hours after liftoff, short of a full orbit.

Starship is the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built. Its first flight in April lasted four minutes, with the wreckage crashing into the gulf. Since then, Elon Musk’s company has made dozens of improvements to the booster and its 33 engines as well as the launch pad.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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