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First integrated Starship vehicle launches on brief test flight
Posted: Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 11:15 AM ET (1515 GMT)
Starship launching on first integrated test flight, April 2023 (SpaceX) SpaceX's Starship launched Thursday morning on a test flight that ended after four minutes with an explosion. The integrated Starship/Super Heavy vehicle lifted off from the company's Boca Chica, Texas, test site at 9:33 am EDT (1333 GMT). The vehicle reached a peak altitude of 39 kilometers on the flight, but the Super Heavy vehicle suffered several failures of its Raptor engines during ascent. The rocket lost attitude control and started to tumble, and was destroyed by flight termination systems four minutes after liftoff. While the launch fell short of the planned mission, a "nearly orbital" flight ending in a splashdown near Hawaii, the company said it gathered valuable data from the test. Others, including NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, also congratulated SpaceX for the long-anticipated test flight.
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