First Starship Flight Test Sees 1.7 Million Live Viewers on YouTube [VIDEO]

first starship flight test

SpaceX today completed its first flight test of Starship, lifting off from the pad in Starbase in Texas.

The first launch wasn’t without some drama, as the countdown to 40 seconds paused, before some more last-minute flight checks, to only resume to counting down to launch.

The roaring sound of 31 Raptor engines lighting up was a first, although the test revealed some engines did not light up. As Starship travelled into the sky and was supposed to reach stage separation, the latter did not happen and the rocket entered a spin, then exploded, or as SpaceX deemed it, a rapid unscheduled disassembly (note to self: adding that to our vocabulary).

“As if the flight test was not exciting enough, Starship experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly before stage separation,” said SpaceX.

“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,” added the company. “Congratulations to the entire SpaceX team on an exciting first integrated flight test of Starship!”

SpaceX CEO reacted by saying, “Congrats @SpaceX team on an exciting test launch of Starship! Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months.” Musk was seen in the control room monitoring the first ever historical launch of Starship, the largest rocket ever built.

Check out the replay below:

YouTube video

Musk and SpaceX had tampered expectations for the first Starship launch, noting that just lifting off the pad would be deemed a success.

The live video on YouTube peaked at nearly 1.7 million viewers during the Starship launch, despite taking place at 6:30am PDT/9:30am EDT. Excitement was definitely guaranteed today on 4/20.

Update April 20: According to Washington Post reporter Christian Davenport, the FAA confirmed Starship exploded due to the automated flight termination system. Essentially, the system will detonate the spacecraft in the event of something going wrong, which it did after stage separation failed to initiate.