World’s Most Powerful Rocket Reaches Space

March 14, 2024

Starship reached orbital velocity.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, after SpaceX’s Starship rocket successfully launched and reached space before losing contact with the company on its way back to Earth. Thursday’s uncrewed test flight followed two prior launch attempts last year which led to explosions.

Why It Matters: The Starship rocket – the most powerful rocket ever to exist – launched on Thursday morning from Texas and reached space, traveling nearly halfway around Earth before being lost on its descent to the Indian Ocean. While flight data is being analyzed further, NASA hopes to one day use Starship for carrying astronauts to the moon; Musk would like it to be used to carry people to Mars, too. The SpaceX founder says he hopes for half a dozen Starship flights in 2024 as the company pursues its milestones.

Did You Know? The Starship rocket is about 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty!

Read More: SpaceX launches huge Starship rocket into orbit on third test flight, but loses spacecraft on its return to Earth (NBC News)

Live Updates: SpaceX’s Starship Journeys Into Space but Is Lost on Re-Entry (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas