Shocking videos posted online show Elon Musk‘s doomed Starship rocket spraying debris all over the southern Texas coast.

The massive 395-foot rocket launched into the air in sunny Boca Chica, Texas Thursday morning, but burst into flames just four minutes after takeoff.

The explosion sent debris flying at thousands of miles an hour, damaging a car parked miles away and sending a dust cloud over the Gulf of Mexico on an otherwise sunny day.

Footage from thousands of feet away shows the dust cloud slowly engulfing the area, sending debris flying and sending palm trees swaying in the heavy winds before it ultimately starts to dissipate.

Pictures also showed the colossal crater and wrecked launch pad left in the rocket’s wake.

The Federal Aviation Administration has now grounded all of SpaceX’s Starship rockets as it investigates the crash.

Black smoke filled the otherwise blue sky in Boca Chica, Texas when SpaceX's Starship rocket exploded on Thursday

Black smoke filled the otherwise blue sky in Boca Chica, Texas when SpaceX’s Starship rocket exploded on Thursday

Footage showed the dust cloud slowly engulfing the area, spraying debris and sending palm trees swaying in the wind before it ultimately starts to dissipate

Footage showed the dust cloud slowly engulfing the area, spraying debris and sending palm trees swaying in the wind before it ultimately starts to dissipate

Pictures also showed the colossal crater and wrecked launch pad left in the rocket's wake

Pictures also showed the colossal crater and wrecked launch pad left in the rocket’s wake

The explosion on Thursday occurred when the rocket failed to separate over the Gulf of Mexico, prompting SpaceX bosses to destroy it. 

Its mission was supposed to see the craft blast 150 miles high into the atmosphere before cruising for an hour and crashing into the Pacific Ocean.

The rocket took off with promise when Starship ignited its 33 Raptor engines and lifted off the launch pad at 1,242 miles per hour.

It reached a height of around 25 miles above the Earth when it was supposed to separate so that the booster would fall back to Earth and into the Gulf of Mexico,

But the separation failed, sending the rocket into a spin and within seconds, the rocket detonated over the ocean.

The FAA is now investigating the crash to ensure ‘any system, process or procedure does not affect public safety’ as is its standard procedure, officials said.

Yet SpaceX CEO Musk had warned that such an outcome might happen during the test flight on Thursday, suggesting that the main goal of the launch was to clear the launch pad — which the Starship successfully completed.

And during the company’s live stream of the launch on Thursday, SpaceX Principal Integration Engineer John Insprucker reminded the crowd that ‘this was a development test.’ 

‘It’s a first test flight of Starship,’ he said. ‘And the goal is to gather the data and as we said, clear the pad and get ready to go again.

‘So you never know exactly what’s going to happen. But as we promised, excitement is guaranteed. And Starship gave us a rather spectacular end to what was truly an incredible test as far.’

Other videos posted online showed the large dust cloud expanding over the Gulf of Mexico

Other videos posted online showed the large dust cloud expanding over the Gulf of Mexico

In fact, the company is considering the launch a success despite what they categorized as ‘a rapid unscheduled disassembly.’

‘We cleared the tower, which was our only hope,’ said Kate Tice, a SpaceX quality systems engineer, during the live-streamed event.

‘With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship´s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multi-planetary,’ SpaceX tweeted.

Musk also tweeted: ‘Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.’ 

The rocket is designed to be bigger and more powerful than others of its kind, and is capable of lifting more than 100 metric tons into orbit.

It generates 17 million pounds of thrust, more than twice that of the Saturn V rockets used to send Apollo astronauts to the Moon. 

The idea is that the Starship would be capable of bringing humans to Mars in the first step of Musk’s grander vision of making the human race a ‘multi-planetary species.’

He would eventually like to start a human colony on Mars and build cities on the Red Planet.

If those efforts prove successful, Musk plans to use the rockets to bring people to destinations in the ‘greater Solar System’, including gas giants such as Jupiter or one of its possibly-habitable moons in the case of an apocalypse.

Under SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's plans Starship would be capable of bringing humans to Mars

Under SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s plans Starship would be capable of bringing humans to Mars

The rocket successfully lifted off in its test run on Thursday but failed to separate

The rocket successfully lifted off in its test run on Thursday but failed to separate

Starship is both bigger and more powerful than SLS and capable of lifting a payload of more than 100 metric tons into orbit. It generates 17 million pounds of thrust, more than twice that of the Saturn V rockets used to send Apollo astronauts to the Moon

Starship is both bigger and more powerful than SLS and capable of lifting a payload of more than 100 metric tonnes into orbit. It generates 17 million pounds of thrust, more than twice that of the Saturn V rockets used to send Apollo astronauts to the Moon 

But the explosion has left some elected officials questioning whether there is a need for more commercial spaceflight regulation.

House Transportation Aviation Subcommittee Chair Garrett Graves, a Republican from Louisiana, has said he does not want to do ‘anything that impedes the progress of innovation for commercial space.

‘But obviously, you’ve got to balance that with safety,’ he told Politico. ‘And so we’re going to continue working with the National Transportation Safety Board.’

Tammy Duckworth, the chair of the Senate Commerce Aviation Subcommittee, meanwhile, said lawmakers need to clarify which agency will be in charge of regulating the space tourism industry.

‘We need to decide who’s going to regulate that type of travel,’ she said. ‘Is it going to be the FAA or is it going to be NASA?’

She noted, however, that ‘NASA is not a regulating agency the way FAA is — coming up with the rules and policies of how we conduct both commercial passenger and commercial freight travel.

‘We need to sit down and rally have a reckoning as to who’s going to be in charge of this — an agency that has lots of experience, or a space agency that has no experience with logistical moving things around the way the FAA does,’ Duckworth said. ‘So we’ll have to see.’ 

DailyMail

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