On Thursday, SpaceX’s newest Starship exploded during a significant test of its most potent rocket.
Why it matters: As it creates a new rocket, SpaceX values moving quickly and taking chances. This philosophy includes these publicized testing mishaps of this nature.
The Starship will one day transport passengers and cargo to distant locations like the Moon and even Mars, if SpaceX has its way.
Driving the news: Starship launched from Boca Chica, Texas, at approximately 9:33 a.m. ET. The vehicle’s Super Heavy booster propelled the craft away from Earth.
The big picture: NASA is already counting on Starship.
The space agency awarded SpaceX a major contract to use the vehicle as a human lander that is expected to bring astronauts to the surface of the Moon as part of the Artemis program.
“Every great achievement throughout history has demanded some level of calculated risk, because with great risk comes great reward,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson wrote on Twitter after the test. “Looking forward to all that SpaceX learns, to the next flight test—and beyond.”
What to watch: Some experts believe that Starship will completely change the space industry after the huge rocket starts flying regularly.
Elon Musk has said that if the fully reusable Starship flies regularly, it could bring down the cost of launching people and payloads to space by at least a factor of 10.
Yes, but: That relies on being able to rapidly launch Starship and reuse the vehicle, and that is likely years away.