The second launch of SpaceX's uncrewed Starship rocket, the largest and most powerful craft on Earth, went farther than the first attempt in April but exploded after about eight minutes into flight.
The Starship, which lifted off about 8:04 a.m. ET from SpaceX’s private Starbase site in Boca Chica, Texas, near Brownsville on the Gulf of Mexico, had a stage separation and reached space. But ground crew lost communications with the rocketship after eight minutes.
That's an improvement over the Starship's previous test flight in which several of the spacecraft's engines failed and exploded about four minutes after its launch.
The two-stage, 394-foot-tall Starship is classified as a super heavy-lift launch vehicle. The tests aim to show how well the stages work together in flight.
SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, has a $3 billion contract with NASA to get astronauts to the moon as early as 2025 and eventually launch missions to Mars.