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SpaceX Starship rocket launch was a 'successful failure'

SpaceX was founded in 2002.

Published: April 21, 2023 3:15pm

SpaceX’s new Starship rocket exploded minutes after it took off Thursday morning, but advisers say the mission was a good example of the company owner Elon Musk's "successful failure" business model that has served him well. 

"This is a classical SpaceX successful failure," Garrett Reisman, a former NASA astronaut and senior adviser to SpaceX, told Reuters.

He also said embracing failure when the consequences of failure are low is part of a SpaceX strategy that differs from traditional aerospace companies and NASA.

Musk, the billionaire who also owns Twitter and the electric vehicle company Tesla, said after the rocket left the Texas launchpad and exploded seconds later said that the endeavor in fact put the rocket one step closer to complete development. 

After the launch, the engines on the rocket had issues during the ascent, and the booster rocket and the Starship did no separate in time, resulting in an aborted mission, reported Reuters. 

No astronauts were on board during the mission. 

SpaceX was founded in 2002.

Tanya Harrison, a fellow at the University of British Columbia's Outer Space Institute, said the flight of the complicated launch system is a notable accomplishment. 

"This is the biggest rocket that humanity has tried to build," she said. 

It is designed to carry more cargo and people to and from deep space than any existing spacecraft.

The Starship will be able to bring tons of soil and minerals from Mars and transport astronauts and lab facilities to and from the moon and Mars.