SpaceX Starship Rocket  Explodes Minutes After Liftoff

The boosters of SpaceX’s Starship rocket failed to separate about 4 minutes after the launch on Thursday morning. It was then forced to self-destruct. 

The launch on Thursday was the second attempt after Monday's countdown had to be scrubbed due to a frozen valve.

According to SpaceX, the flight reached its height of 24.2 miles (39 km) above the earth, and the explosion occurred four minutes after takeoff. 

As a part of NASA's Artemis program, Starship is designed to carry passengers to the moon and Mars. It will take 100 people on long-duration, interplanetary flights. 

Starship is so cost-effective that it can deliver 100 tons of cargo, to Mars or to any planet within the solar system for less than $50 million. 

The Space Shuttle that NASA retired in 2011, costs $1.5 billion to lift only about one-quarter of what Starship will, and only into low Earth orbit. 

Despite not going according to plan, SpaceX said it was still a successful first part of the mission, and CEO Elon Musk congratulated the team.