BOCA CHICA (United States): Starship, the world’s most powerful rocket, flew further and faster than ever before during its third test flight Thursday, although it was eventually lost as it re-entered the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean, SpaceX said.

Lift-off from the company’s Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas came around 8:25 am local time (1325 GMT) and was carried live on a webcast that was watched by millions on social media platform X.

The sleek mega rocket is vital to NASA’s plans for landing astronauts on the Moon later this decade — and Elon Musk’s hopes of colonizing Mars some day.

“Congrats to @SpaceX on a successful test flight!” tweeted NASA administrator Bill Nelson following the test. All eyes were on Thursday’s launch after two prior attempts ended in spectacular explosions. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: The company has adopted a rapid trial-and-error approach in order to accelerate development, and the strategy has brought it numerous successes in the past.


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