Watch SpaceX Starship megarocket explode in ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — SpaceX’s giant Starship has met another explosive end. SpaceX’s next-generation megarocket — the largest ever built — launched on its second-ever test flight on Saturday (Nov. 18), a highly anticipated jaunt that took the giant vehicle to space for the first time, but it didn’t last long. Shortly after stage separation, the rocket’s massive Super Heavy booster exploded, with the Starship upper-stage vehicle itself detonating before reaching its target altitude in what SpaceX called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly.” 

“What we do believe right now is that the automated flight termination system on second stage appears to have triggered very late in the burn, as we were headed downrange out over the Gulf of Mexico,” said John Insprucker, SpaceX’s principal integration engineer, during a live webcast today.