SpaceX's mega rocket's second test flight ends in double explosion

ITV News' Alex Iszatt explains why Elon Musk's Space X is still hailing the explosion of Starship as a win

The second test of Space X's mega rocket has ended in an explosion - again.

Just minutes into the test flight, Starship lost its booster and lost communication after liftoff from South Texas on Saturday.

SpaceX declared the vehicle had failed, similarly to its first trial in April, which also saw it end in an explosion.

The 397-foot Starship rocket thundered into the sky at 7am local time (1pm GMT) and over the Gulf of Mexico.

The goal was to separate the spaceship from its booster and send it into space.

The booster exploded, but not until its job was done, putting the ship on a course toward space.

SpaceX aimed for an altitude of 150 miles, just high enough to send the bullet-shaped spacecraft around the globe before ditching into the Pacific near Hawaii about one-and-a-half hours after liftoff, short of a full orbit.

Starship is the biggest and most powerful rocket ever built.

The SpaceX Starship launches from Boca Chica, Texas, on April 20, 2023. Credit: AP

Its first flight in April lasted four minutes, with the wreckage crashing into the gulf.

Since then, Elon Musk’s company has made dozens of improvements to the booster and its 33 engines as well as the launch pad.

The FAA gave the all-clear to fly earlier this week.

The first test saw concrete chunks, steel sheets and other objects were hurled hundreds of metres from the pad, the US Fish and Wildlife Service later reported.

It also said a plume of pulverised concrete sent material several miles away.

Wildlife and environmental groups sued the Federal Aviation Administration over what they considered to be a failure by the body to fully consider the environmental impacts of the Starship program near Boca Chica Beach.

SpaceX has a $3 billion (£2.4 billion) NASA contract to land astronauts on the lunar surface as early as 2025, using the spacecraft.

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