Dramatic footage shows the unmanned test capsule blowing up as it smashed into the ground having soared to 40,000ft, in its first high-altitude flight.
However, it gained too much speed to land successfully, and went out in explosive flames. The Starship milestone on Wednesday puts SpaceX closer to replacing its Falcon spacecrafts.
About two minutes after launching, one of the Starship’s three Raptor engines gave out. A minute later, a second engine cut off, but the prototype rocket continued its journey upward.
The Starship lost its third engine around four-and-a-half minutes into the flight, and the rocket moved to a horizontal position and pointed back down towards Earth.
As the Starship got closer to the ground, its engines fired up again and flipped it back into a vertical position and slowed it down. The prototype still landed at a faster than ideal speed, causing it to explode.