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SpaceX successfully launched its Starship, but the vehicle was ‘lost’ after reentry

The SpaceX Starship rocket taking off from the Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, at 9:25AM ET on March 14th, 2023.
The third Starship test flight has fared far better than SpaceX’s previous two attempts. | Image: SpaceX

SpaceX’s massive Starship took off from the company’s Starbase launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas, at 9:25AM ET on Thursday morning.

This test flight was far more successful than its two predecessors, as the vehicle became “the first Starship to complete its full-duration ascent burn” after the six Raptor engines powered it to its expected orbit. It completed the hot-staging separation from its Super Heavy booster and opened a payload door to demonstrate how it could be used for missions like delivering Starlink satellites into orbit.

The vehicle remained in one piece until contact with the Starship spacecraft was lost shortly before its anticipated splashdown in the Indian Ocean. According to SpaceX, “The flight test’s conclusion…

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