Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the world’s most powerful rocket bringing the company one step closer to colonizing Mars.

The 400-foot-tall Starship took off at 8:50am ET from Boca Chia, Texas for the fourth flight test that will see the craft reach orbit before re-entering the atmosphere and crash-landing in the Indian Ocean.

SpaceX personnel cheered as the booster successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico about eight minutes after take-off. 

Starship is intended to be the first spaceship to reach the Red Planet, with Musk previously proclaiming it ‘will take humanity to Mars.’

SpaceX’s mission plan does not include recovering the rocket from the Indian Ocean after splashdown.

SpaceX launched its Starship at 8:50 a.m. ET from Boca Chica, Texas

SpaceX launched its Starship at 8:50 a.m. ET from Boca Chica, Texas

The launch 

In 2020, Musk revealed his plan for Starship to send humans to Mars.

He calculated that to put one million humans on the Red Planet by 2025, his rockets would need to conducted around three flights a day and a total of 1,000 flights a year – but 2025 is just around the corner.

The billionaire previously renewed his vow to colonize the Martian world in a post on X last month.

‘I’m going to colonize Mars. My mission in life is to make mankind multiplanetary civilization,’ the post read.

Musk’s reposted the message from his personal account with the accompanying words: ‘Only if civilization lasts long enough.’

The booster successfully returned to Earth about eight minutes after take-off, receiving cheers from SpaceX personnel.

The booster successfully returned to Earth about eight minutes after take-off, receiving cheers from SpaceX personnel.

Starship is intended to be the first spaceship to reach the Red Planet, with Musk previously proclaiming it 'will take humanity to Mars '

Starship is intended to be the first spaceship to reach the Red Planet, with Musk previously proclaiming it ‘will take humanity to Mars ‘

One day before the mission, former President Barack Obama was speaking at a renewable energy conference in Paris and mentioned ‘tycoons, many of whom are building spaceships’ that could take humans to Mars.’

‘But when I hear some of the people talk about the plan to colonize Mars because the Earth environment may become so degraded that it becomes unlivable, I look at them like, what are you talking about,’ he continued.

‘I would rather us invest in taking care of this planet here.’

While Thursday’s mission did not end as planned, the test flight was the farthest performed with a Starship rocket.

The most powerful and largest launch vehicle ever constructed, Starship achieved one key first goal: successful separation from its Super Heavy booster.

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